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Fledge
11-21-01, 09:22 AM
One area of controversy among evangelical Christians has to do with the extent of manís free will and Godís sovereignty in justification. This includes such theological concepts as predestination, election, the extent of the atonement, and eternal security. We should take a strong stand against extreme variations of these views. For instance, we cannot agree with the hyper-Arminian belief that God does not know all things, or the hyper-Calvinist notion that evangelism and prayer are superfluous because everything is already preordained by God. We should urge Christians to avoid such unbiblical extremes, while recognizing that evangelical Christians have disagreed for centuries and continue to disagree over the details of such issues as predestination and eternal security.

Keeping in a spirit of moderation, both views are considered orthodox christian beliefs. You may think one is wrong, or the other is more right, and that is acceptable.

So we can discuss, debate, disagree...but we shouldn't divide nor angrily argue the point.

We should not take a such a dogmatic stand on in-house controversial issues, that do not deny or seriously distort the essential doctrines of the Bible, that we can't get along with each other and concentrate or our primary job function as reaching out to a lost and dying world in love.

I like debating and discussing. It helps me, challenges me, and strengthens me, but when we have answers to questions and comments such as "That is a lie from the devil" or "That is pure heresy" when in fact...it is simply another quite orthodox view of things...it hurts. Not just me, but the Church as a whole. Unbelievers don't need to see us fussing and arguing over simple, orthodox differences in opinions. It doesn't do the Kingdom of God a bit of good.

If they can see us discuss intelligently, in love, with respect...I think that would do a world of good over the incessant arguing and bickering.

SORRY...got on a rant there. Just venting. Just some of my thoughts on things.

Brandan
11-21-01, 10:01 AM
Hey Fledge,

A good point, but there is a problem with it... What may be considered "orthodox" by the majority of Christianity could in fact be heresy. And if it is, I believe it is our duty to expose it as such. Now, maybe we could all be a bit tamer when exposing what we believe to be heresy....

If someone came to you and told you that Jesus was not God, I HOPE you would declare that statement to be heresy. Now, for me, Arminianism denies the sovereignty of God over salvation, and I have no problem pointing out the heresy and the evil doctrines which stem from this error.

The truth is, anything that contradicts Scripture is heresy / evil doctrine. And if we DON'T expose it as such, we aren't doing anyone any good.

But anyway, you're right about discussion in love. I believe it's loving to point out the errors and false teachings of others. Maybe we should just be gentler, huh?

Debbiek
11-21-01, 10:01 AM
ty for your thought. It is good of you to point it out,"it hurts not only me, but the church as well". Very well put. MUch of the Bible is dedicated to how a Christian should act, in fact an entire book of the Bible is dedicated to the same subject matter of your post. The book of James cannot be ignored by anyone who seriously studies the Bible. In Christ, Debbie

Brandan
11-21-01, 10:18 AM
Titus 1:10-13, (NASB) For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain. One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith.

Debbiek
11-21-01, 01:34 PM
to me that passage of Titus means that we are to rebuke sharply people who make statements such as," The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies". Titus goes on in verse 15 to point out that people who make statements like the one above, "are defiled and unbelieving... even their mind and conscience is defiled". 16- "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny HIM..."

Brandan
11-21-01, 02:08 PM
Hmmm, I thought the passage referred to, "For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers."

Look, heresy is heresy.. Andy heresy is dangerous. Arminianism is heresy, and in my opinion just as evil any other heresy. I will point it out, regardless of what people think of me.

Now, the point I think Fledge was trying to make is maybe we should show considerable tact and diplomacy when discussing these things. I agree with him here. But if what someone writes is flat out wrong, I'm not going to him haw around the topic at hand and hold back what I believe to be true. A spade is a spade.

Fledge
11-22-01, 01:30 AM
What prompted the original post was that I had noticed a few posts by people that were, in my opinion, very confrontive and not a lot loving.

As in the example Kermie mentioned. If somebody proclaims that Jesus is not God, YES, by all means correct them. By all means proclaim it as heretical, definitely share with them thr Truth of who Jesus is.
BUT, I don't think it does a lot of good to just say "That is a lie from hell and you are going to burn for it". Something a little more loving and intelligent.

I was always taught that it isn't so much WHAT YOU SAY, but more so HOW YOU SAY IT.

That was the general jist of my original post. I know I got off a little on the free will/elect/calvinism/etc. topic, but it was used more to make the point than to discuss that as a topic.

TranquilWaters
11-25-01, 05:00 PM
The Truth, The Way, and The Life. He is The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is The Word. What does He say about those who would sin against Him? Matthew says:

Matthew 12
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

If The Son of Man, who is Jesus of Nazareth, forgives them and He is sinless then how much more shall we forgive our brethren? We who are wretched and unworthy of salvation and yet forgiven? I am far more fearful of The Word when He speaks this than what will happen if I judge someone not wothy of forgiveness:

Matthew 25
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

I do not fear this day because I diligently guard myself from judging others who are not worthy. If someone came up to me and said Jesus is not God I would say:

A far more important question than who is or is not God is, "Am I saved?" Salvation is a blessed gift given freely by God to those who repent. If you want to be saved all you need to do is ackowledge that you are a sinner and for that reason not worthy of salvation. Then ask Him for forgiveness knowing that only by His Mercy can you be saved. Never forget that because or your sins, past, present, and future, you will never be worthy of salvation. Until you die hate all sin and be grateful the The Mercy that He's shown you and you will be saved on the day of judgement.

Fledge
11-26-01, 10:15 AM
A far more important question than who is or is not God is, "Am I saved?"

However, there is only one salvation, and one True God. If we are "saved" through a different god, we are not truly saved. We need to know the God we serve. We need to study, and investigate.
Yes, "are you saved" is a very important question to ask. But can the mormon Jesus save you? Can the JW Jesus save you? Can the Islamic Jesus save you? No.
We need to know and learn and study. It is vital that we know WHO we believe and WHAT we believe and WHY we believe.

Brandan
11-26-01, 10:23 AM
Thanks Fledge,

How can you be saved if you don't know WHO God is?

TranquilWaters
11-26-01, 07:12 PM
I couldn't agree with you more. We, as brothers, need to know Who God is and what we believe. Since we seem to be in agreement I am interested in your opinion on something. Please allow me to respectfully ask a few questions but do not answer these questions if it would offend you to hear that someone else does not believe exactly as you do:

Who is God?

What is His name?

I believe it unfair to ask a question without giving my own answer first. It just doesn't seem right to me so I'll tell you what I believe and then you can tell me what you believe. I will not judge a word you say in your reply so please feel free to speak your mind, heart, and spirit.

Who is God?

He is The Creator of all things created. Further, there is nothing created that was not created by Him. He is the same God as the God of Abraham, Jacob, and Moses. All other gods are the vanity of men and the fallen.

What is His name?

He has many. Moses asked Him this question directly and He replied, "I Am that I Am!" AMEN! He Is. The words of man are vane and futile when applied to Him. For this reason He is called whatever He wishes to be called whenever He wishes to be called by it. To some He is The Son of Man, to others He is The Truth, and to others still He is The Lion. He has named Himself the King of Kings and The Lord of Lords. He has named Himself lowly and meek. If someone asked me what God's name is than I would answer with The Truth. His name is whatever He wants it to be whenever He calls Himself by it. We don't chose. He does. I am far more afraid of closing the door of salvation on a man because of a word that God used for Himself in calling me. I have been told that I am like Philip in this regard. Aaah, but the praise of men is not why I love life nor is it why I give freely what I have been given so freely. My love for God and His children, who are my brothers, is why I share so freely. I was given in abudnace so I give in abundance. What have I been given so freely and abundantly that I feel compelled to pass it on? Mercy, forgiveness, patience, kindness, understanding, love, faith. I am so unworthy of these things that God has given me. Who am I to judge that another is not entitled to them? No. Its not my place to do so. Especially not for a human word.

That is the wisdom of God. So many men would turn His name to a curse word if He only had one. We see it today. I am surrounded daily by men who use these wrods as swears:

Jesus Christ
Oh my God
For the Love of God
Oh God
God damn you

It is detestible for me to hear these words as swears from men but how much more detestible to God have my failures been? If I am not comdemned for my pitiful understanding of The Truth how then can I be so unforgiving of a man who doesn't know that the words he is speaking are something other than a swear? How can I then, in clean conscience, teach them that they are save by a God Who's name is a swear? God is not a swear.

So to a man who uses the words 'Jesus Christ' as a swear I tell him he is saved by The Word. To a man who uses the word 'God' as a swear, I tell him The Truth will set him free.

To the man who asks, "How can a man who was crucified by Romans be God?" I tell Him God is not a man who died on a cross. God is The Lion of Judea. All who stand before Him tremble for none are worthy of His praise. I tell such a man that He will be saved by the mercy of God only and not by any number of good or great deeds he may ever have done or will do. I tell him that The One True God is a God of infinite strength and power rivaled only by His infinite love and mercy. I tell such a man that by The Word that He utters men are saved or destroyed. By The Word He utters kingdoms fall and nations rise. By The Word He utters the mightiest of beasts, men, and angels fall to their knees in fear and awe.

This is what I believe with all my mind, heart, and spirit. Indeed my entire soul yearns for the day of His coming that all creation can see His glory. He will glorify Himself and it will not be by any human word but by The Word of The Father, The Mercy of His Son, and The Hand of His Holy Spirit.

This is what I believe to be the answer to those questions.