What life should a Christian live to be Christian?


(Shawn T Murphy) #181

Dear Robin, It is my personal experience is that many people who call themselves ‘Christians’ revel in eternal damnation, looking down on those who are not Christian who are destine for eternal suffering. I just wanted to point out that this detracts us from loving our enemies and forgiving them. My point is that Jesus did not teach this OT concept and Christians should believe that Jesus came for everyone, even if you cannot comprehend how all will be restored.


(Richard Wright) #182

Hi Shaun,

Just saw this and found these questions interesting. I know they weren’t directed at me, but I’ll answer them anyway. :slight_smile:

Yes.

I think so. I don’t think, “turning the other cheek” means we have to let evil-minded people slaughter ourselves and our families.

I guess it depends on the situation. If someone takes advantage of us somehow, we have every right to try to remedy it reasonably and legally. I’ll share with you that just last week a lawyer tried to stiff me my fee for 2 days of testimony as an expert medical witness, even though we had an agreement by email. So I sent him an email with a reasonable offer and threatened to take him to court if he didn’t pay up (which, surprisingly, he did). As Christians there’s nothing wrong with reasonably trying to right a wrong perpetrated
against us.

If our, “faith is abused or taken advantage of by someone”, that can mean a lot of things, but a couple of passages that come to mind are:

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." (2 Corinthians 10:4)

and:

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:11-2)

Amen!

I can comprehend trying to help, “enemies” become Christians, which is what we’re called to do. God has chosen to use us, that’s supposed to be part of our journey. Jesus isn’t going to wave his arm and magically save everyone, as appealing as that sounds.


(Richard Wright) #183

Hello again Mitchell,

Not me. I have convictions of what a Christian is, how they should live and how to become one. IMHO much of Christianity isn’t aligned with what Jesus taught and I therefore find it unauthentic and not able to save, and that includes my immediate family and most of my relatives, whom I love. Most here wouldn’t agree with me as to the boundaries of God’s Kingdom, that’s true, but my convictions have nothing to do with wanting to chop to be provincial.

Maybe some’s views are for, “power and manipulation”, but I think for the most part people have sincere bible-based convictions that they teach and live by.

Suspicious to you, but I’m not, “obsessed” with glorifying God, only see it is a purpose for the lives of Christians, which I showed clearly with many scriptures.

Well, he called on the Father to glorify him:

"And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." (John 17:5)

That’s because glory to the son is glory to the Father, who seeks glory for himself, which is now best accomplished in the lives of Christians:

"I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it..." (John 8:50)

That admonition was to the OT Isrealites. We have a higher calling now, and a true Christian isn’t religious but lives his/her life for Christ. Being a Christian is who we are, not just performing a list of duties.

I agree with this, our focus shouldn’t be to glorify God but to be like Jesus, which, if we do, glorifies God.

Do you think that Jesus bodily rose from the dead?


#184

5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. 8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him ; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy,
From the Revelation of John:

holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Worthy is the Lamb from Handel’s Messiah, The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge


(Mitchell W McKain) #185

I think we discussed this one already, when I either quoted or told you to read 1 Corinthians 15. Paul explains there that it was a bodily resurrection not to a physical or natural body bound by the laws of nature or made of the stuff of the earth and thus weak and perishible, but to a spiritual body made of the stuff of heaven and thus powerful and imperishable, which can appear in a room without opening the door and able to go to the Father in Heaven. For God is spirit, and thus spirit is the far greater, substantial reality and infinitely more capable than this physical simulation of atoms according to mathematical laws of space and time.


(Shaun) #186

Hi Richard,

Thank you for your answers!

Very good discussions!


(Mitchell W McKain) #187

Let’s spell out what you are saying here. You claim to have a higher calling than seeking justice and correcting oppressing. Sounds very familiar. This mission more important than justice and oppression begins with the lying for Jesus routine, right? A calling to save people from hell justifies any injustice and oppression you might have to perpetrate for the sake of this holy mission. Because people should sacrifice all their liberty and any expectation of justice in exchange for the salvation from hell which you believe you dispense to the world. This is no doubt what people told themselves when enslaving the people of Africa and slaughtering the Native Americans. It is an excellent example of just how dangerous and evil Christianity can be in the hands of some people. This is the sort of Christianity which I have the greatest hope will be utterly eradicated from the earth forever.

I will sing praises of glory to the Lord because of a character of sacrificial love, but I will not be doing it to drown out the screams of whipped slaves, raped women, and slaughtered children. No sirree, I will not!


(Shawn T Murphy) #188

Dear Mitchell,
I share your sentiments. The holy Roman Empire was a slave-based society and this is why I critically question every doctrine these slavers created. I do not think oppression is rooted in wanting to save souls though. I believe it is firmly rooted in the pursuit of power, disguised as Christianity.

This is why I speak out against the medieval doctrines created by the emperors, especially Constantine and Justinian. For me, anyone who supports these doctrines gives power to oppression. The trinity doctrine is designed to put the seat of God’s power on earth firmly in Rome. The eternal damnation doctrine is designed to empower religious leaders to wield God’s power on earth, violating God’s commandments in the name of saving souls.

There are more slaves today than there has ever been and what are Christians doing to stop it?


(Robin) #189

Shawn… you are mischaracterizing other people and the motives or attitudes of other people here. I think we will have to agree that your views come from sources – possibly gnostic sources – which are not the sources that inform canonical Christian perspectives – such as mine – or even the perspectives of many other belief groups. That should be all that is to be said by either of us, at this point. on the subject.


#190

I haven’t read everything from Richard, but where do you get all this?


(Mitchell W McKain) #191

It is the implication I see when he tells me that Xtians have a higher calling than seeking justice and correcting oppression. NO! There is no higher calling! Absolutely not! If you sing praises to God ignoring injustice and oppression then you spit upon God with your songs!

Of course this doesn’t mean you have to do so in a stupid manner like the Zealots. I think Jesus made his disapproval of them quite clear. Liberation theology has no support from me because revolution is not a viable solution to oppression. The American revolution worked only because in reality was the opposite of a revolution – a fight to preserve a social order which already existed. But this doesn’t mean that you do nothing against injustice and oppression – you do whatever you can to oppose it.


#192

What makes you think he doesn’t care about justice and oppression? Besides, different believers have different callings and different ministries. What are you doing about justice and oppression? What is your church doing about these things?


(Robin) #193

Which thing are you “amen” - ing to ??


(Richard Wright) #194

Hello Mitchell

Yes, we discussed it, and I showed that you were wrong from scripture, to which you didn’t respond. Jesus bodily rose from the dead, the Christian faith is built on that fact!

“Jesus said, ‘Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.’” (John 20:17a)

Jesus in a physical body.

"‘Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’” (John 20:27)

Jesus again in a physical body.

“He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.”

Ate and drank with a body, not a spirit.

Over 50 passages mention Jesus being risen from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:35-58 is talking about saved people after they die, not Jesus’ resurrection. When Paul, or anyone, said that Jesus rose from the dead, that is referring to a bodily resurrection, that humans could see.

You did a good job of packing false doctrines, unwarranted assumptions and straw-mans into that paragraph, Mitchell. Jesus’ purpose here was to seek and save the lost.

"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

And not to alleviate all injustice and suffering:

"The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me." (Matthew 26:11)

We are ABSOLUTELY called to a higher calling, to be disciples of Jesus Christ. In Christ, we are born-again and are new creations, though faith in the blood of Christ. We now live for him, God’s son who came here in the flesh and we don’t follow 613 rules. We don’t go out to seek justice and correct oppression. The reason that exists is due to rebellion to God. The ultimate justice is to connect people with their creator, so that no matter what happens to them in this life, they can live forever with God.

"Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me, to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:17b-9)

This part of Isaiah that Jesus read at the synagogue, obviously a prophecy about himself, is about helping people become free from their sin and connect them to their Father, no going out and, “freeing the oppressed”. That happens when someone is born-again.

Noone talked about drowning out the screams of slaves, raped women, ect. But our goal is not to alleviate the symptoms of godlessness, it’s to alleviate godlessness at the root, one by one, like Jesus taught. If a Christian can somehow make a difference with oppression and injustice, amen. But that is not our calling. This is about the life of a Christian, and you should use passages from the New Testament to back up your claims.


(Shawn T Murphy) #195

Richard, there is no science supporting the concept of a physical resurrection from the dead. It was God who created the physical and spiritual laws and God does not violate His own Law. There is plenty of science supporting @mitchellmckain view that Jesus rose in spirit from the dead. See mu other post.

The best explanation of the life of Jesus that I have read is from Walther Hinz.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #196

Outsiders can fairly ask what good your religion is then. According to James pure religion is that which seeks to care for orphans and widows (the powerless among us). A little later he writes (paraphrased) So you believe all the “correct” things about God? Good! Yet even the demons believe all these things … and shudder! And James goes on to write how faith without works is barren. Only James used much more pointed language which I’ve softened here. Read James 1 and 2 if you want the full taste of his aroused ire.

I think the “Christian” neglect of justice and mercy in this world has been perhaps the largest engine for loss of belief in recent history.


(Cindy) #197

This is Monism vs Dualism, two terms recently learned by this student of Religion. I agree with Monism (only one reality, not two) but in a sense; it really is semantics. We’re incapable of understanding how God does miracles whether it be in a Monistic or a Dualistic Universe so what is the point in arguing about it?


#198

The Bible tells us to seek justice and champion the oppressed in both the OT and NT. Not all denominations neglect justice and mercy.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #199

Indeed! James (where I got the passages I just quoted) is in the Bible. And as you imply, I could have chosen many others from either testament. Those who make social justice into an enemy of faith are forced to turn a blind eye to major themes from both the prophets and the apostles.

Good! And we must celebrate, support, and join with those who champion such calls.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #200

yeah … you’re right about that. Which is probably a good reason to spend much more of our energy in directions that help others in need.