ForumsWEPRThe Religion Debate Thread

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nichodemus
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nichodemus
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Viceroy

So yeah, our threads on religion have long since died out, so I figured it would be time to start afresh here!

Do you believe God exists (I know almost all of you don't)? Do you feel religion is important today? Is it a force for good? Discuss everything related to that here!

I'm going to start the ball rolling:

We all know about the rise of ISIS and the terrible acts it perpetuates. Does that show that Islam and religion in general is an awful concept? Is it the people who twist it? Or is it fundamentally an evil force?

Roping in the WERP frequenters
@MageGrayWolf @Kasic @Hahiha @FishPreferred @Doombreed @09philj

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EmperorPalpatine
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EmperorPalpatine
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Jester

Those differences in the examples you gave have no effect on the message of the Bible that God saves.

Accuracy has no effect? Then let's agree to only reference the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.
https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/

But they reject that Jesus is God.

Good luck defending the Trinity with the NWT.

Too bad Mormonism isn't a Christian denomination.

That's definitely no Christianity.

That's not for you to decide. Everything on this page counts, regardless of your feelings.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

the fundamental biblical truths.

Since you're being vague, instead of us guessing at what you mean by that, list everything you consider essential to being a "true Christian," since everything else is superficial.

Not for the major doctrines in the Bible though.

How do you draw the line between what's major and what's unimportant? If it's all God's perfect word, who are you to value one part of scripture over another?

A lot of the books in the Bible claim that they are inspired too so we have that little piece of evidence if it means anything.

The Catholic Church was never really the "inspired" people.

How do you determine who is inspired? How do you determine when a group is not inspired? If the Catholic Church's claim means nothing, why should the authors'? If even the process that selected the books was "evidently flawed," what makes you believe any of it was "inspired" at all?

I don't dilute God's grace through works.

You said that works are a form of worship.
P26: "If you are really saved, you would want to worship God by doing good works, sharing the gospel, and obeying God's laws. If you're not doing those things, have you really been saved?"
P27: "God chooses us regardless of our works."

Maybe his audience already knew they were the same.

The fact that the plain text requires an explanation, and there are multiple, equally unfalsifiable possibilities that can be asserted as truth, means that when you say "Just read the Bible," you're aware that it's disingenuous.

Like in the case of Mark, archeological facts. The more knowledge we have, the more we can discern what is true.

The facts demonstrate that members of the early church were fallible. How do you determine which of their statements are reliable without being circular?

But as I've said before, the translation proccess was not inspired.

I'm sure I worship the same God as those saved by missionary work. The people in Africa or in the Philippines who speak different languages and have their own translations of the Bible know God like the people with English translations. I would say that God's people have good access to his word.

How do you determine they're getting the right message? Since you're also using translations, how do you determine you're getting the right message?

Omnipotent, existent,competent, benevolent. Last time I excluded benevolent.

You've said that God is bound by logic, so which is it?
lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
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Shepherd

Why?
Because He wants to test us so we can see how much faith we have. I don’t think it would be a sin if Adam chose an animal though.
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Oh, sorry. I was right the first time. Pilate ends the conversation at 9:12, right after Jesus answers again. Mark and Matthew don't mention any response except "Thou sayest it".
Does that mean there are no contradictions or... what are you trying to say exactly?
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Here's a few:
If you insist.
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16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (Genesis 3:16)
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Although you don't see much love in this picture, you see another one of God's traits. Here, God is showing his wrathful side. Eve made a wrong choice and she suffered the consequences. That's not to say God did not show Eve mercy and grace. She was given clothes later in the chapter that were significantly better than fig leaves.
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5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. (Genesis 6:5-7)
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Again, God displays his hatred towards sin. And again He shows mercy when He saves a flawed man and his family.
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21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. 24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. 25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
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This is not a message a love, but it doesn't have to be because it's an interaction between two humans. I actually don't know how human inflicted curses and blessings work in the Old Testament so I don't know the meaning of this particular passage. It doesn't show anything about God from what I see.
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11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: 12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. 13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. 14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. 15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he *****, and menservants, and maidservants, and she *****, and camels. 17 And the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife. 18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? 19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. 20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had. (Genesis 12:11-20)
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We have established that God will punish people for their sins unless He is merciful to them. I guess his love overrides his wrath. In this case, God doesn't show mercy towards Pharaoh, but He shows mercy to Abram. This supports a loving message because God saves Abram from the consequences of his sin (lying), but we still get to see his just characteristic when He punishes Pharaoh according to his sin.
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26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26)
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She was punished because she looked back because was worried about all of her possessions back home. God gave her a way out but she cared more about what she had more than what she was receiving from God which was salvation.
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Exodus 7-14
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These chapters detail the plagues God inflicted on Egypt when Pharaoh didn't let his people go. It describes Pharaoh's heart being hardened by himself and by God. Whenever his heart is being hardened, it is not wrong to say God was hardening it each time. God hardened Pharaoh's heart by letting Pharaoh harden his own heart. It makes the distinction between God and Pharaoh in order to show that God's plan was taking place despite Pharaoh's stubbornness.
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5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (Exodus 20:5)
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God can be both jealous and loving. Just as He is just and loving. His love overrides his jealousy when He wills it.
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17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. 18 And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: 19 If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed. 20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. 21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
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This is not a message a love but rather it is the law. This Mosaic law was made to distinguish the Israelites from other nations. In other parts of the Bible, you will find examples of God's love.
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16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. (Exodus 22:16)
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This is assuming the man did not rape her most likely. The next verse says 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.The father would probably not want to give his daughter to a rapist.
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Exodus 32
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Here, the people disobeyed God by making an idol to worship. He decided to discipline them.
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17 And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the Lord; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.
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So basically if someone sinned but didn't know it was wrong, he is still guilty of it and is subject to the punishment. This is just because He did something wrong against God. You can't add anything except the grace of God to diminish a crime.
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1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. 3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace. 4 And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp. 5 So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp; as Moses had said. 6 And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the Lord hath kindled. (Leviticus 10:1-6)
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God punished Nadab and Abihu for disobeying his command. That's really how He ought to deal with all of us, but He grants all of us the grace to live.
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20 And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free. 21 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the Lord, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering. 22 And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the Lord for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him. (Leviticus 19:20-22)
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If a man sleeps with a woman who is married, they will not die because she was under the authority of another man, but they will still be punished. Any sin warrants death, but this is an example of common grace.
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10 And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp; 11 And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the Lord, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan: ) 12 And they put him in ward, that the mind of the Lord might be shewed them. 13 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 14 Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him. 15 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. 16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death. (Leviticus 24:10-16)
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The Lord ain't messin around when you blaspheme his name.
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No, I mean what criteria do you use to separate cause from other factors?
It's up to you if you want to believe it or if you want to investigate the cause further. In many cases, however, you will find that the only explanation is the grace of God.
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When you say that their lives are changed, how changed are their lives?
They would be more loving. You would see it in their interactions and reactions to others. People affected by God's love are not necessarily more outgoing, but they are more patient and forgiving for a start. They might also refrain from their other regular sins more like procrastinating for example. The best examples are those who are killers and then they see the truth and then God works through them.
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Buddhists FTW.
Exactly. They got something going for them. But you have to examine their faith further to see if their way is the truth.
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Allow me to rephrase, then: Should we guage the truth of Star Wars by the fervor of the fans who flock to it? How about KKK literature by the extent to which it indoctrinates people?
No, because that's not how you gauge the truth of my faith either. If you see any kind of positive change, that is a good sign, but it is not the determining factor of the truth. Like Socrates said: "if this is the doctrine that corrupts the youth, I am a mischievous person." You should be able to discern positive changes.
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And how do you ascertain that this is God's doing.
That is what I put my faith in in the first place. Naturally I would assume it's God. This might be circular reasoning, but I have other evidences about my faith. If my faith is confirmed, then God is confirmed. Does that make sense?
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Not good enough. If He wants to be trusted more than that guy I described on page 13, he's going to need to do a lot better.
The difference is that God gives us a whole collection of 66 books that tells us about who He is and what He does for us. He does good things for bad people. I am a bad person and then I was made righteous by Christ. He saves people all the time and we see it everywhere in the Bible and in real life. You just have to look for it.
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No true Scotsman.
That's not for you to decide. Everything on this page counts, regardless of your feelings.
Oh lol okay that's what you mean when you bring up No true Scotsman. I'm slow. However those practices do not correspond with the clear doctrines of the Bible.
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These people in Africa who speak different languages and have their own translations of the Bible clearly do not know God in the same way.
You know there are other churches in Africa right?
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And this time you excluded competent.
No I didn't. I still exclude benevolent. God knows what He's doing and everything is accounted for.
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You've said that God is bound by logic, so which is it?
I still exclude benevolent. Just because God is "limited" by logic, does not mean He is not omnipotent. We reason things about God to find the truth. The truth is binary as is logic.
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No, they don't. Strangely, even your extremely biased source makes no such claim.
"For example, Mormons reject belief in the Trinity" Either they believe in more than one God or Jesus is not God because the Trinity is real.
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You from six days ago:
"It's also irrelevant because that's not the only requirement for us to discern what is inspired."
That makes me look silly huh? Lol well if it's a legitimate factor then it's not irrelevant. It's not of great importance, but it is a way to help "us to discern what is inspired."
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That's a poor example, because it in fact doesn't.
I guess God is the one who saves, but you get the point.
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In what sense is grace even capable of being diluted?
God's grace is perfect. By saying that you need to work for salvation means that you are undermining God's grace. This contradicts God's word.
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You from eight days ago:
"First of all, he didn't trip and fall. He fell after being hanged. His guts and everything fell out because he was decaying."
Me from 12 days ago:
"What do you think about this explanation?" And then I changed my mind and agreed with that explanation. I thought that was evident. My fault if it wasn't.
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And as Emp pointed out, we can just as reasonably conclude that they ignored nigh all other writings that aren't directly or indirectly referenced by them; i.e., most of what is now the old testament.
The thing is, why would they talk about something unless it was relevant to their teachings? Why would Jesus reference a book that is contrary to his word?
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Then we must logically conclude that God has little or no interest in the physical or spiritual wellbeing of most mortals.
And how did you come up with that conclusion?
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Accuracy has no effect? Then let's agree to only reference the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.
I meant only in the examples that the link gave. I have no idea what the New World Translation changed in the Bible aside from what was said in the link.
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Good luck defending the Trinity with the NWT.
That's why let's not reference the New World Translation. We don't even know the specific people who worked on that translation.
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Since you're being vague, instead of us guessing at what you mean by that, list everything you consider essential to being a "true Christian," since everything else is superficial.
Being a "true Christian" means you are a disciple of Christ.
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Romans 8:9)
18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 12:8)
You have to trust that Jesus lived and died and rose again so that you are forgiven. And you have to accept Him as your Lord and Savior. When you have the Holy Spirit in you, Christ lives in and through you so you can see it through works.
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How do you draw the line between what's major and what's unimportant? If it's all God's perfect word, who are you to value one part of scripture over another?
I value all parts of the Bible. Just because one part of the Bible isn’t a major doctrine does not mean it’s not important. People just have different interpretations of it sometimes. As long as they are true Christians, their interpretations are valid I guess.
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How do you determine who is inspired? How do you determine when a group is not inspired? If the Catholic Church's claim means nothing, why should the authors'? If even the process that selected the books was "evidently flawed," what makes you believe any of it was "inspired" at all?
It is only evidently flawed because people pick and choose scriptures that agree with their beliefs. That includes the early church but over time I think the Protestant branch did a good job of determining the canon considering everything. Like they took into account historical facts and stuff.
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You said that works are a form of worship.
P26: "If you are really saved, you would want to worship God by doing good works, sharing the gospel, and obeying God's laws. If you're not doing those things, have you really been saved?"
P27: "God chooses us regardless of our works."
Exactly. I mean that God’s grace is grace. Grace is unmerited favor and so our works cannot increase God’s grace. We just do good works because we love God.
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The fact that the plain text requires an explanation, and there are multiple, equally unfalsifiable possibilities that can be asserted as truth, means that when you say "Just read the Bible," you're aware that it's disingenuous.
No, we know that Mt. Horeb and Mt. Sinai are the same. Just because we don’t know why Moses chose to use both of the names does not mean that they are not the same. The explanation has not effect on the major doctrines of the Bible.
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The facts demonstrate that members of the early church were fallible.
And we are that much closer to the truth because of it.
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How do you determine which of their statements are reliable without being circular?
Read other sources.
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How do you determine they're getting the right message? Since you're also using translations, how do you determine you're getting the right message?
By their works and their testimonies. The people who translated the translations I read are credited (unlike the NWT) so real scholars can check their academic credentials.
FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
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Archduke

Because He wants to test us so we can see how much faith we have. I don’t think it would be a sin if Adam chose an animal though.
1 He's supposed to know that already.
2 If Adam chose one of the animals, God would not, in fact, "make him an helpmeet".
https://imgur.com/7Fp5mYg.png

Does that mean there are no contradictions or... what are you trying to say exactly?
It means that, according to "John" Jesus refuses to answer one thing (19:9) and then goes on talking (19:11). According to "Mark" (and, consequently, Matthew) He only said one thing (15:2) during the whole discussion.

Although you don't see much love in this picture, you see another one of God's traits. Here, God is showing his wrathful side. Eve made a wrong choice and she suffered the consequences. That's not to say God did not show Eve mercy and grace. She was given clothes later in the chapter that were significantly better than fig leaves.
Him doing something vaguely nice as a token gesture does not negate the effect of His vindictive reprisal. A merciful god would not be so easily swayed to act against its creation.
https://i.imgur.com/j8s6b4r.png

Again, God displays his hatred towards sin. And again He shows mercy when He saves a flawed man and his family.
Notice how God is only upset with man, yet He decides to destroy "both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air". Again, a merciful god would not be so easily swayed to act against its creation.
https://imgur.com/7Fp5mYg.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/j8s6b4r.png

This is not a message a love, but it doesn't have to be because it's an interaction between two humans. I actually don't know how human inflicted curses and blessings work in the Old Testament so I don't know the meaning of this particular passage. It doesn't show anything about God from what I see.
God act's on his behalf to enact the curse at 27, but sure, we can ignore this one.

We have established that God will punish people for their sins unless He is merciful to them. I guess his love overrides his wrath. In this case, God doesn't show mercy towards Pharaoh, but He shows mercy to Abram. This supports a loving message because God saves Abram from the consequences of his sin (lying), but we still get to see his just characteristic when He punishes Pharaoh according to his sin.
This does not support a loving or just message. He brings plagues upon the man and his household because he believed a servant of God who lied to him. There is no justice in that, and I dare say you know it.
https://i.imgur.com/j8s6b4r.png

She was punished because she looked back because was worried about all of her possessions back home. God gave her a way out but she cared more about what she had more than what she was receiving from God which was salvation.
1 So she was worried about her livelihood. That's giving a very charitable interpretation of what could as easily mean "glanced back to see what all the commotion was behind her", and it still demonstrates His total lack of compassion toward someone who the angels were trying to save.
2 Despite her understandable reservations, she did not go back, making this reprisal at the very least premature.
https://i.imgur.com/j8s6b4r.png

These chapters detail the plagues God inflicted on Egypt when Pharaoh didn't let his people go. It describes Pharaoh's heart being hardened by himself and by God. Whenever his heart is being hardened, it is not wrong to say God was hardening it each time. God hardened Pharaoh's heart by letting Pharaoh harden his own heart. It makes the distinction between God and Pharaoh in order to show that God's plan was taking place despite Pharaoh's stubbornness.
1 Despite? It's integral to His plan that the Pharaoh resists.
2 Here you're trying to absolve God of responsibility by distorting "hardened Pharaoh's heart" into "letting Pharaoh harden his own heart", but that is not what the text says. As you conceed that God was involved in hardening it, God is still to blame for hardening it.
3 This time, the plagues weren't inflicted only on the Pharaoh, or even just his household. The entire kingdom, all of its citizens, all of the livestock, and at least a good chunk of the local wildlife suffered because of this.
https://i.imgur.com/j8s6b4r.png

God can be both jealous and loving. Just as He is just and loving. His love overrides his jealousy when He wills it.
You missed the point. Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children means punishing people for things their parents did, and this goes not only for them, but also for their own descendants three generations further down the line.
https://i.imgur.com/j8s6b4r.png

This is not a message a love but rather it is the law. This Mosaic law was made to distinguish the Israelites from other nations.
Why does God's law demand this kind of cruelty?

In other parts of the Bible, you will find examples of God's love.
That remains to be seen.

This is assuming the man did not rape her most likely. The next verse says 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.The father would probably not want to give his daughter to a rapist.
Oh, okay. So, according to God's law, a man is legally entitled to rape virgins at his leisure, provided that he pays off their fathers for depreciating their exchange value. Is God really that depraved, or did this just not occur to Him?
https://imgur.com/7Fp5mYg.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/j8s6b4r.png
Also, Deuteronomy 22 clearly does refer to rape (the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her), and in this case, God's law decrees that the victim be stoned to death if she doesn't scream audibly enough to be saved when raped in an urban area.

Here, the people disobeyed God by making an idol to worship. He decided to discipline them.
1 They did not disobey Him. Only Moses was privy to that rule He had just finished making up.
2 It was Aaron, a holy man chosen by God, who made the idol and they worshiped it because he told them to. He apparently redeems himself in God's eye by helping Moses slaughter 3000 of the people he misled.

So basically if someone sinned but didn't know it was wrong, he is still guilty of it and is subject to the punishment. This is just because He did something wrong against God. You can't add anything except the grace of God to diminish a crime.
That is not just, because it is God's obligation to ensure that all people know and understand His law. A competent god would know better than to punish its people for something they cannot have been aware of.
https://imgur.com/7Fp5mYg.png

God punished Nadab and Abihu for disobeying his command. That's really how He ought to deal with all of us, but He grants all of us the grace to live.
Which command? He demands that offerings be burnt on His altar, yet when two of His priests light a fire to burn the offerings on His altar, He incinerates them and His prophet forbids anyone from mourning their death.
https://i.imgur.com/j8s6b4r.png

If a man sleeps with a woman who is married, they will not die because she was under the authority of another man, but they will still be punished.
No. If a man has his way with a slave woman set to be someone else's wife, she will be punished. He just has to give a ram to the priests and he is forgiven.
https://i.imgur.com/j8s6b4r.png
On a similar note, in Numbers 12, when two people correctly point out that Moses has gone against God's law, Moses gets away scot free and the male accuser is scolded. The woman is struck with leprosy until Moses has God forgive her.

The Lord ain't messin around when you blaspheme his name.
https://i.imgur.com/j8s6b4r.png

It's up to you if you want to believe it or if you want to investigate the cause further. In many cases, however, you will find that the only explanation is the grace of God.
Show me any such case.

They would be more loving. You would see it in their interactions and reactions to others. People affected by God's love are not necessarily more outgoing, but they are more patient and forgiving for a start. They might also refrain from their other regular sins more like procrastinating for example.
So now you're saying it isn't enough to "truly change lives"; it needs to change them personally in a positive way? Should we not then dismiss all of the scripture that promotes the opposite (slavery, mysogeny, warfare, genocide, animal cruelty, collective punishment, child abuse)?

Exactly. They got something going for them. But you have to examine their faith further to see if their way is the truth.
Why? Because they don't claim to be receiving commands from a tyrannical cosmic overlord?

No, because that's not how you gauge the truth of my faith either. If you see any kind of positive change, that is a good sign, but it is not the determining factor of the truth. Like Socrates said: "if this is the doctrine that corrupts the youth, I am a mischievous person." You should be able to discern positive changes.
If it isn't a determining factor, why should it even be a factor? Also, your quote has no apparent relevance.

That is what I put my faith in in the first place. Naturally I would assume it's God.
Why?

This might be circular reasoning, but I have other evidences about my faith. If my faith is confirmed, then God is confirmed. Does that make sense?
Only if your faith is confirmed by God being real, but that's tautological. Otherwise, no.

The difference is that God gives us a whole collection of 66 books that tells us about who He is and what He does for us.
Poorly, as has been demonstrated.

He saves people all the time and we see it everywhere in the Bible and in real life. You just have to look for it.
Were that the case, we would have nothing to discuss here. The fact is that we do not see it. Only you see it, and only because it's what you want to see.

However those practices do not correspond with the clear doctrines of the Bible.
That's right! Almost none of these denominations, for example, uphold the doctrine of putting people to death for minor infractions. This is a particularly glaring omission, since Jesus himself was calling people out on it in Mark 7.

You know there are other churches in Africa right?
Just as you know that no surfeit of unrelated churches will negate the existence of these ones.

No I didn't. I still exclude benevolent. God knows what He's doing and everything is accounted for.
For that to be true, the world cannot be screwed up at all. Yet we've established that the world is screwed up enough to be in need of fixing. So, are you discarding the claim that it's screwed up, or the claim that it isn't His fault?

"For example, Mormons reject belief in the Trinity" Either they believe in more than one God or Jesus is not God because the Trinity is real.
We've been over this: The trinity holds that God is three entities who exist simultaneously, permanently, and independently. According to "Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith", which that article cites, Jesus is the son of God, split off from Him and later rejoined. Therefore, it is one of several nontrinitarian denominations of Christianity.

Right now, I'm wondering which denomination you're beliefs are founded upon. Presumably some form of protestantism other than lutheran and anglican?

By saying that you need to work for salvation means that you are undermining God's grace.
In what possible sense?

The thing is, why would they talk about something unless it was relevant to their teachings?
Because it coincides with Jesus's word.

Why would Jesus reference a book that is contrary to his word?
To dispell confusion about which books are true to God's will.

And how did you come up with that conclusion?
Thus:
- God makes sure that his message is conveyed exactly how He wants it when He wants it.
- God's message is not conveyed in a manner that allows most mortals (atheists, other religions, other denominations) to attain physical and/or spiritual wellbeing.
- Therefore, God does not want His message to be conveyed in a manner that allows most mortals to attain physical and/or spiritual wellbeing.

That's why let's not reference the New World Translation. We don't even know the specific people who worked on that translation.
Good point. How much do we know about the 47 people who translated the King James bible?

Being a "true Christian" means you are a disciple of Christ.
[...]
You have to trust that Jesus lived and died and rose again so that you are forgiven. And you have to accept Him as your Lord and Savior.
I like how this definition conforms exactly to each denomination from the perspective of the same denomination.

It is only evidently flawed because people pick and choose scriptures that agree with their beliefs. That includes the early church but over time I think the Protestant branch did a good job of determining the canon considering everything.
Which was accomplished by picking and choosing scriptures that agree with protestant beliefs.

No, we know that Mt. Horeb and Mt. Sinai are the same.
Uh, no. You only assume that they are the same because only by being the same can they have the same role in both stories.

Read other sources.
Which ones?

By their works and their testimonies. The people who translated the translations I read are credited (unlike the NWT) so real scholars can check their academic credentials.
Right, so we can reasonably suppose that they didn't make many more mistakes than most concurrent translators. Unfortunately, that doesn't make any of them right.
EmperorPalpatine
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EmperorPalpatine
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Jester

That is what I put my faith in in the first place. Naturally I would assume it's God.

This thread has demonstrated that your beliefs on things you put your faith in can be misguided or wrong.
This might be circular reasoning,

Beyond that, it's predicated on your inclinations. You want it to be true, because it's comforting. It needs to be true, because the alternative is terrifying. There are certainly factors of sunk cost in play. You're trusting your heart, which is warned against.
but I have other evidences about my faith.

So do the majority of other denominations, from their points of view.
However those practices do not correspond with the clear doctrines of the Bible.

They absolutely do, from a certain point of view.
the Trinity is real.

Counterclaims:
Origin of Trinity
Separate Entities
Mystery is Against God's Nature
The thing is, why would they talk about something unless it was relevant to their teachings?

These?
We don't even know the specific people who worked on that translation.

Taking credit would be considered boastful toward one's works, clearly violating Ephesians 2:9.
Being a "true Christian" means you are a disciple of Christ.
[...]
You have to trust that Jesus lived and died and rose again so that you are forgiven. And you have to accept Him as your Lord and Savior. When you have the Holy Spirit in you, Christ lives in and through you so you can see it through works.

People just have different interpretations of it sometimes. As long as they are true Christians, their interpretations are valid I guess.

Matthew 7:21-23 says some will accept Christ, perform works in accordance with what they believe to be signs of salvation, truly believe they are saved, and not be, due to their misguided "interpretations". Your salvation hinges upon those minor details.
I value all parts of the bible.

You've already thrown out the end of Mark 16. Clearly that verse was not important.
Just because one part of the Bible isn’t a major doctrine does not mean it’s not important.

How do you determine what is "major"?
It is only evidently flawed because people pick and choose scriptures that agree with their beliefs. That includes the early church

Then whence came inspiration? What demonstrates divine guidence?
but over time I think the Protestant branch did a good job of determining the canon considering everything. Like they took into account historical facts and stuff.

Is the bible meant to be a "living document" that changes with the times, or a permanent construct? As an example, let's compare it to the Star Wars canon. When Disney bought Lucasfilms, and they saw the mountain of "Expanded Universe" items, they decided that the official canon was the movies, certain shows, etc. This wiped out millenia-worth of previously established lore, including core understandings of The Force, lightsabers, characters, etc. Whether or not they "did a good job of determining the canon" ignores that they altered what was considered to be firmly in place.
Strop
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Strop
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I'm going to be really rude and interrupt here with one question:

Has the discussion on this forum evolved at all since eight or nine years ago when I first joined? Coz it kind of looks like it hasn't, just, occasionally, new players come in and cover the same material as has been archived in various manners in previous incarnations of this thread.

EmperorPalpatine
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EmperorPalpatine
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Jester

Has the discussion on this forum evolved at all since eight or nine years ago when I first joined?

It seems like there's less name-calling.
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