Theology

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 5stringJeff, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    This is from the "True Face of Saudi Arabia" thread in the Muslim section... we went way off topic! :)

    The following thread is re-posted, in its entirety, as posted by ajwps.

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    Originally posted by gop_jeff

    "Look, I'm not going to make excuses for their actions, because I think they were wrong to do what they did. Ultimately, however, their actions will be judged by God, not me."

    Well let's take a look at the New Testament and the actions of those who claim Christ as their savior. So the murder of tens of thousands in order to convert them to Christianity doesn't point to the faith for which you follow?

    King James Version

    Matthew 7
    16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
    17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

    If Christianity is a good tree than it appears it cannot bring forth evil fruit.

    "Again, God is the ultimate judge, not me. I will leave the fairness of it to Him."

    Let's take a look at Jesus' New Testament for validation of the mininsters words to the reporter concerning the mass murderer living through faith and not through works. Passing the intolerance off by the very words of the NT which brings those who accept the shed blood of Jesus as savior and onto the next world amounts to hypocrisy.

    Ephesians 2
    7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    quote:
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    That's nice but you shouldn't skip the part of the methods the Spanish missionaries and conquistadors used to convert the native Indians of the countries they captured. They burned them alive, split them open or just simply murdered them with swords with the option of joining up with Christ.
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    "Again, I'm not making excuses... see above."

    Yes you might take another look at the NT clear verse that without a personal belief in Jesus and his sacrifice, all others are headed for hell.

    quote:
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    The following two are just a few of many sites demonstrating Christian tolerance for other religions.
    http://www.tfmc.us/html/news/reveals.html
    http://www.sbts.edu/mohler/Fidelita...rticle=fidel033
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So the Southern Baptists decided to try and convert Jews to Christianity? So what? I think these people prove my original point: they are confident that, in the free exchange of ideas, Christianity will be accepted by many who hear it. If this upsets you, organize a group from your synagouge to try to convert Chirstians (or Muslims, or atheists) to Judaism.

    Actually my synagogue and for reasons unknown have half the congregrants self converts from Christianity to Judaism. But without any attempt to evangelize them as this practice is forbidden in the original religion of Jesus Christ.

    You say that 'these people are confident that in the free exchange of ideas Christianity will be accepted by many who hear it. Well it happens that the main author of the NT wrote in an epistle to the Philippians about how the free exchange of ideas are not enough to get the unsaved to join up.

    Phillipians 1:18

    Philippians 1
    18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

    It appears that conversion to Christianity by the very man who met Christ in a vision on the road to Damascus, the driving force behind the NT long after Christ's crucifixion thought that pretence or deceit would be necessary to obtain converts for Christ. And he rejoiced in this practice, twice.

    We really should start a thread on another site to go into the theology we both share.
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Actually, Christ's words refer to the individual believer, not to Christianity as a whole. So a bad tree (i.e. a person with bad intentions/a bad heart) cannot bring forth good fruit (i.e. good deeds, because anything they do has ulterior motives attached).
    Look, I agree with you, it was not right for people to kill or threaten to kill in order to convert people to Christianity. And I think that God will judge them for their actions.

    I won't argue with that... except it wasn't Jesus who said this, it was Paul. And you are right, people are saved by grace, not by works. I don't understand how this is intolerant or hypocritical, though.


    Christ did not forbid evangelization; in fact, He commanded it. Pasrt of His last recorded words in Matthew's gospel are: "Go and make disciples of all nations."

    First, let's look at the whole passage, not just the one verse:
    Phillipians 1:12-18:
    12Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. 13As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
    15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.[3] 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

    So it is not that Paul was preaching a lie, it is that others were preaching out of false/bad motives - as referenced above by the good fruit/bad fruit verse. But to Paul, the important thing was that the truth of Christ was being taught.

    I got this from the Tektonics.org site:
    "'In every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Jesus is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.' A Jewish anti-missionary site saw some alleged significance here thinking that they could prove Paul a liar, but the word "pretence" here is prophasis, which means an outward showing. It does not reflect lies in content, but lies in motive, and that is what Paul accuses opponents of his of doing, not himself -- just as you may get a true Gospel message unwitingly from a charlatan."
     
  3. ajwps
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    ajwps Active Member

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    orginally posted by Bry

    Hello Bry,

    Interesting that you now defend the words of St. Paul in his Epistles (letters) to the Philippians.

    Let’s first take a look at the Christian Greek-English translation bible site.

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/c/1069903010-5782.html#18

    It seems that this long recognized and reputable Christian bible site finds the word 'prophasis' to mean 'pretence' and not 'outward showing'. You could easily say that 'outward showing' is a definition of saying one thing and meaning another.

    You choose a Jewish anti-missionary site to find this verse from the NT which you say has another meaning in the context of the first chapter. It is interesting that you somehow discover that a Jewish site to prevent the deceitful taking of the Jewish soul for a god that they had not known.

    Unfortunately in this verse, Paul may have meant that others were using lies and deceit to preach the message of Christ but his words qualify that he twice rejoices in the others methods.

    The whole concept, at least from a Jewish perspective is that no pretence, deceit or outward showing would be acceptable to the true Creator of the universe.

    The actual difference in the Christian and Jewish faiths is two words. Christianity is a religion of creed (faith in Jesus) while Judaism is a religion of deed. Paul did say that works (deeds) are dead and that faith is all that is required for salvation?

    Please correct me if I am incorrect in this perception.
     
  4. ajwps
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    ajwps Active Member

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    Bry,

    The following quote might just apply to you and the grand mentor jimnyc.


     
  5. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Actually, it was me, not Bry.

    Now, this may sound like quibbling, but my point is that Paul's motivation was that Christ was preached by people, regardless of motives.

    Let's look at the word prophasis. It states the definition as a pretext, an alleged reason, or a pretended cause. It is used elsewhere to describe Pharisees who outwardly showed the signs of true religion, but inwardly, did not have the love of God in them. In the same way, Paul describes those who preach the gospel of Christ, but inside their hearts did not believe or follow the command of the Gospel - in other words, unsaved people.

    While it may not be acceptable (and I don't argue that, in God's eyes, it isn't), Paul's whole point is that it is still being preached.

    You are somewhat correct. From the Bible, it is clear that all men are sinners (see Romans 3:9-18). It is clear that all men face God's judgment for this sin (Romans 3:19). It is clear that God offers a righteousness, apart from following the Law, through Jesus (Romans 3:21-31) It is clear that we are saved by grace, not by works (see Ephesains 2:8-9). However, Romans 3:31 states, "Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law." James further states that "faith without works is useless." (James 2:14-26)

    So we are clearly offered righteousness (what Christians call being born again) through faith. However, that does not excuse a Christian from upholding God's commands - rather, as a sign that we are under God's grace, we obey God's commands.
     

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