Christianity and Interpretations

I have discussed this with some people here but i wanted a wider spectrum of answers. So we christians have one in common. We believe in the ressurection and that Jesus is God. But when it comes to the bible it all crumbles down. We have all kinds of interpatations and theological debates that i cannot even list here. So why all this? Why didnt the early church summoned a council about several of these debates . It worked for the deity of Jesus soo… And why cant we do it now? Thanks and blessings

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People do that all the time and thus we have the pseudo-Christian religions. People are always wanting to cut Christianity down to just their own personal system of beliefs, often adding to or subtracting from the Bible or publishing their own guide to nail down how the Bible must be correctly interpreted and understood. But mainline Christianity has resisted this, starting with ecumenical councils gathering all the leaders of Christianity to nail down what minimal beliefs define the religion as well as what scriptures have authority. The whole point of the first of these, as I see it, was to block those who would cut Christianity down to something smaller. Though as this went on they became narrower and narrower cutting off more and more groups, until they became just a declaration of beliefs for a particular group of churches.

To be sure many other attempts have been made to nail things down somewhat, but what can that ever do but add to the list of things you must take a closer look at to see if they work for you. The Roman Catholic church has its catechism and the Protestants have the 5 Solas. After this is starts to divide more and more. Such as the Articles of Remonstrance by Arminius in opposition to the TULIP declarations of the Calvinists. And then you have the statements of belief for each separate denomination. Personally, my position on these are…

  1. Creeds of the Ecumenical councils - I would take the first of these as defining the Christian religion but they rapidly lose credibility after that.
  2. RC catechism - I find this very long and elaborate declaration of beliefs to be useful in getting a feel for the RC position on just about any issue you can think of.
  3. 5 Solas - I like this rather minimal declaration, though I am likely to state them in my own words according to my own understanding.
  4. TULIP Calvinism - I reject and denounce all five of these.
  5. Articles of Remonstrance - But although I am opposed to Calvinism, I don’t find these to be acceptable either – turning Christianity from a gospel of grace to one of works of the mind and belief, and from a religion of faith to one of entitlement.
  6. Statement of beliefs by particular denominations. - I make my own decisions on doctrinal issues and will not buy any of the packages that any of these are selling. While I am solidly evangelical protestant according the 5 solas and personal experience, I prefer the Eastern Orthodox on a number of doctrinal issues.
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Of course, after all the fighting and fussing, all they could agree on was a couple of paragraphs in a creed.

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So we need to do better then. They defended the deity of Christ and thats all that matters. Why dont we summon a council all the denominations and engage in a debate with proofs to back up each view. ?? I mean sure some “indoctrinated” christians and fanatics wont agree but as for the others why not?And i dont mean only the theological issues but the interpatations as well

What works for you? I am against interpreting the bible according to what works for me and thats not the way it should be

What is doing “better” is an acceptance of the natural diversity of thought in these matters. Try too hard to nail things down and history testifies that the only result is going to be greater division.

I am against interpreting the Bible according to what doesn’t work – according to what is logically inconsistent, contrary to the demonstrable evidence, and hostile to love, sanity, and peace in the world. If that is what you are going to do then I will deposit your interpretation in the garbage where it must belong.

What i was trying to say is if i think that murdering someone was not a sin i shouldnt interpet the bible according to my view. That’s all i was trying to say

Ohh comon how ?

Well to begin with there is the division right here between you me. As I see it you want to objectify things which for me would defeat the whole point of religion in the first place, which is to acknowledge the irreducibly subjective aspects of reality. If you want something purely objective then that is what science is for and you might as well buy into naturalism.

I think the councils the early church convened on these topics were often contributors to the divisions. The councils sometimes came to excessively definitive conclusions on uncertain matters.

I can have Christian fellowship with anyone who accepts the Apostles Creed.

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See the problem here is that people can choose any interpatation they like true or false. So i think objectifying something isnt always bad now is it?

Uncertain like? I only know the council that declared and defended Jesus deity so i havent read what happened in others. Thabks

Neither do I, IF you only want the part of reality which can be objectified. The only part of reality which can truly be objectified is the physical part and the best method of understanding that part of reality is science.

LOL If that is all you are trying to say then by picking something practically everyone agrees upon, you are saying almost nothing.

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There were councils that declared Mary the “mother of God,” and there were councils that went into great detail defining the Trinity with words like “consubstantial persons” or “hypostases.”

And somewhere along the line Mary was declared a perpetual virgin, despite the gospels implying otherwise.

An hierarchy of truths is important. Otherwise we end up with the Revised Third Reformed Footwashing Holiness Church three doors from two breakaways who disagree on what the third tassle on the veil of the temple signifies.

Jesus implied the hierarchy when he talked about ‘weightier matters’. Paul fought for truth, yet over and above he emphasised unity constantly - his knowledge about food sacrificed to idols not being a stumbling block to his brother. Or the 1 Cor 13 where he almost breaks his train of thought to summarise love as central.

I find incredible unity of Christians of all persuasions when we find agreement on the core elements of faith.

On a topic such as how to interpret the bible, or 7 day creation vs evolution, a council will not bring unity. By making a pronouncement, it will come down like a blade to separate Christians into firm camps. (As per MitchellMcCain’s response.) Yet today I can sit and worship and serve with them, side by side. I think that’s Christianity winning, right there.

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Where you note that a unified creed would make adherence to an authoritative answer to life’s biggest questions a lot easier, I just see more reason why an authoritative approach isn’t optimal.

Still, especially during this pandemic, I can see that people really do not much welcome being thrown back on themselves. So maybe an authoritative approach which can serve as a springboard for some to eventually reconcile with those questions directly while keeping us all from destroying each other is a good idea. I continue to find more reason to admire Christianity here. Thanks for the discussion.

Even the exact nature of christ is debated.

Mi Krumm i dont think any Christian believes that Jesus was not God.

You would be surprised at the wide range of interpretations about who exactly Jesus was and debates between always 100% God and 100% Human vs 50% God and 50% Human vs 0% God and 100% human until after his ascension to heaven and so on.

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those who are at 0 percent God then are not Christians. Either Jewish religion or another religion. The others have been decided by the first council

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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