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Old 10-20-2013, 07:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
I don't believe that Jesus Christ ever intended that His Church split up into various denominations. He established "one Church," not many. Not 40,000. Not 4. The problem is that, as Vizio pointed out (and yes, folks, history has been made. Katzpur and Vizio actually agree on something), "as long as human beings are in charge, we will see denominations." You could take ten people who have no religious background whatsoever and give them each a Bible to read. After everyone had finished reading it, you could get them together and say, "Okay, we're going to start a Church, and it's going to be based upon what the Bible says, since everything we need to know to return to God's presence is found within the pages of the book you just finished reading." You know what you'd end up with? Ten different denominations. Some of them would have a lot in common with others, and some would see things very differently from the rest. But every last one would find at least one point on which to disagree with the others and would insist that his interpretation was the right one.

I believe that there is such a thing as absolute truth. I believe that God wants us to find it.
There is an absolute truth out there, Katz . . . but it has nothing to do with what we should believe ABOUT God in our religions. This has been the problem with religions, Katz . . . thinking that learning the correct things to believe ABOUT God matters to God in the slightest. What matters to God is how we develop and mature spiritually and how we treat one another and all life. God is Love and Life . . . that is why Christ instructed His disciples to "love God and each other" daily and repent when they didn't. That is why we are told to do the same if we want to follow Christ as the Way to God.
Quote:
That said, we need to realize that none of us is God and none of us has all of the answers. We're all just doing the best we can and are hoping that God will be loving and merciful to us all. The fact that there are many different denominations in the world today doesn't mean that these denominations need to hate each other, label one another as "non-Christian," or condemn one other's members to an eternity in Hell. If anyone reading the Bible thought that was Christ's message, they need to stop right now and re-read the book.
Amen. Christ had zero interest in establishing a set of things to believe ABOUT Him and God . . . He wanted us to follow Him as the Way to God and eternal life. A Way is a path to be followed . . . NOT just believed in. Believing a path will get you where you want to be is USELESS . . . if you do not FOLLOW it. Believing Christ is the Way to the Father and eternal life is useless if you do not follow what He told His disciples to do.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
There is an absolute truth out there, Katz . . . but it has nothing to do with what we should believe ABOUT God in our religions. This has been the problem with religions, Katz . . . thinking that learning the correct things to believe ABOUT God matters to God in the slightest.
Actually, I disagree that our beliefs don't matter to God in the slightest. I really think that He would prefer that what we believe about Him is accurate. I'm referring to the truth about His nature, His relationship to His Son and to the Holy Ghost, and their relationship to us. What I don't believe is that getting it wrong is a show-stopper. I cannot accept the idea that God cares more about what we believe than how we treat our fellow human beings. And nothing will ever, ever, ever change that.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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Default The first "denominations"

The first differences of opinion between bodies of believers came between Paul and the Jerusalem Christians led by James.

Although the Jerusalem Christians were delighted that Saul was no longer a persecutor of Jews when he converted, they quickly fell out of tune with his rejection of Jewish law and his adoption of "grace" only for salvation.

How important was James "the Just?" Hegesippus who belonged to the second generation of Jesus' followers affirms James as head of the Christian community in his five-volume history of the early church, "Control of the church," he writes, "passed, together with the apostles, to the brother of the Lord, James, whom everyone from the Lord's time till our own has named 'the Just.' In the noncanonical Epistle of Peter, the chief apostle and leader of the Twelve refers to James as "Lord and Bishop of the Holy Church." Clement of Rome, who would succeed Peter as bishop in Rome, addresses a letter to James as "the Bishop of Bishops, who rules Jerusalem, the Holy Assembly of the Hebrews, and all the Assemblies everywhere."

There is no doubt that among early Hebrew Christians James was considered an honorable and faithful man, WHO FOLLOWED THE JEWISH LAWS. Jerome argues that James' holiness and reputation among the people was so great that "the destruction of Jerusalem was believed to have occurred on account of his death" (executed by the High Priest Ananas). Eusebius wrote, "So remarkable a person must James have been, so universally esteemed for Righteousness, that even the most intelligent Jews felt this was why his martyrdom was immediately followed by the Siege of Jerusalem (Ecclesiastical History 2.23). James was esteemed because although he was a Christian, he also remained a devout Jew who followed the law. His death occurred because of his preaching against wealth (easily seen in his epistle as well). Ananas was one of the wealthy Jews who felt threatened by James.

Paul's teaching upset the Jerusalem Christians, those who had actually walked with Jesus. They called him to Jerusalem to make account of himself---their accusation--he had been teaching Jews not just the Gentiles, to ignore Mose's teachings regarding circumcision and the customs of the Jews--which the Jerusalem Christians HAD NOT ABANDONED. What was their ruling? That Paul undergo a Nazarene "cleansing" (called a Nazirite vow, Numbers 6:2) with four other men. It was literally a public shaming of Paul. But James standing was so great Paul dared not challenge it. It is while Paul is there, that his public arrest and extradition to Rome occurs. And there is an argument to be made that it was JEWISH CHRISTIANS that pointed the finger at Paul while he was undergoing seven days of purification rights. Jews from Turkey would have been unlikely to recognize Paul--unless they were converted Christians who had moved to be with the mother assembly (Acts 21:26-29). There is no other way to read Paul's participation in the Nazirite vow except as a renunciation of his ministry and a public declaration of James' authority over him---all the more reason to doubt Luke's account of Paul simply going along with the ritual without comment or complaint.

In fact we find in a set of traditions called the Recognitions a story of a violent confrontation between James and someone called "the enemy." In the text, James and the enemy are engaged in a shouting match inside the Temple when all of a sudden the enemy attacks James in a fit of rage and throws him down the Temple stairs. James is badly hurt by the fall, but his supporters come to his rescue. Remarkably, the enemy who attacked James is later identified as none other than Saul of Tarsus (Recognitions 1:70-71). There are flaws in the text in identifying Paul as Saul, but the recognition of Paul as "the enemy" is also found in the texts of the Pseudo-Clementines). In the epistle of Peter, for example, the chief apostle complains that "some from among the gentiles have rejected my lawful preaching, attaching themselves to certain lawless and trifling preaching of the man who is my enemy" (Epistle of Peter 2:3). Elsewhere, Peter flatly identifies this "false prophet" who teaches "the dissolution of the law" as Paul, cautioning his followers to "believe no teacher, unless he brings from Jerusalem the testimonial of James, the Lord's brother, or whomsoever may come after him" (Recognitions 4:34-35).

Although James certainly was extending fellowship to gentiles by excusing them from circumcision and other "burdens of the law," and he did not require them to become Jews before becoming Christians, he still insisted that they not completely divorce themselves from Judaism, that they maintain a measure of fidelity to the beliefs and practices of the very man they claimed to be following (Acts 15:12-21). Otherwise, the movement risked becoming a wholly new religion (which it did), and that is something neither James nor Jesus would ever have imagined.

Much material taken from Zealot, The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, copyright 2013, Aslan Media Inc., by Reza Aslan, Chapter 15, The Just One, pages 197-212.

There has been divisions among Christians from its earliest days.

Last edited by Wardendresden; 10-20-2013 at 10:47 PM..
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Prince View Post
ARE DENOMINATIONS IN KEEPING WITH GODíS WILL?

Bob Prince

-I think the whole problem with doing the will of God, is that many Christians already think they are doing the will of the father by simply having the Faith that is commanded in scriptures.

John 6:40


40 For my Fatherís will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.Ē




-So if one were to believe in Jesus to have eternal life, the scriptures says they are doing the will of the Father. Which leads to the next issue:


John 14:15


15 ďIf you love Me, keep[a] My commandments.




-What are Jesus commandments?





John 13:34-35


34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.Ē




John 15:12-13


12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down oneís life for his friends.






1 John 3:21-24


21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us[a] commandment.
24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.






1 John 3:23 once again confirms that if we believe on the name of Jesus and Love one another we are keeping his commandments and doing the will of the father. AT this point many Christians think that is all that is required which is what leads to once saved always saved doctrine.





*The main think that needs to be tackled, is How do we Love God and Love One Another according to what God commands in the bible rather than how we think we should Love God and Love One another by what we think.



This right here will lead to more unity in Christianity and way less denominational differences.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Florida/Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAAN View Post
-I think the whole problem with doing the will of God, is that many Christians already think they are doing the will of the father by simply having the Faith that is commanded in scriptures.


*The main think that needs to be tackled, is How do we Love God and Love One Another according to what God commands in the bible rather than how we think we should Love God and Love One another by what we think.



This right here will lead to more unity in Christianity and way less denominational differences.
True, and no one can argue with scripture, but, Is it enough to say... here's the directions? If so, then I guess we're all doing it wrong and Who's doing it right? can anyone do it right? It would seem divine intervention is our only hope. If anyone claims to love God always, and in all ways ... as well as everyone else on the planet, then I think Pinocchio will have some heavy duty competition.

I can't change the "church", but I can go to church. I can't change the world but I can change my world.

One last thought... would Christ have been necessary if we could do what scripture commands... all the time? We got it wrong from day one... amazing grace how sweet the sound.
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:01 PM
 
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But what church? 'can't change the church, but can go to church .

There was a BIG billboard that read: 'Go to the church of ' your ' choice.
Shouldn't the billboard have read: ' Go to the church of ' God's ' choice '?
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Florida/Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew 4:4 View Post
But what church? 'can't change the church, but can go to church .

There was a BIG billboard that read: 'Go to the church of ' your ' choice.
Shouldn't the billboard have read: ' Go to the church of ' God's ' choice '?
Do you have that list from God? or is it where 2 or more are gathered in my name....

... just sayin'
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:36 PM
 
40,439 posts, read 26,960,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
There is an absolute truth out there, Katz . . . but it has nothing to do with what we should believe ABOUT God in our religions. This has been the problem with religions, Katz . . . thinking that learning the correct things to believe ABOUT God matters to God in the slightest. What matters to God is how we develop and mature spiritually and how we treat one another and all life. God is Love and Life . . . that is why Christ instructed His disciples to "love God and each other" daily and repent when they didn't. That is why we are told to do the same if we want to follow Christ as the Way to God. Amen. Christ had zero interest in establishing a set of things to believe ABOUT Him and God . . . He wanted us to follow Him as the Way to God and eternal life. A Way is a path to be followed . . . NOT just believed in. Believing a path will get you where you want to be is USELESS . . . if you do not FOLLOW it. Believing Christ is the Way to the Father and eternal life is useless if you do not follow what He told His disciples to do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
Actually, I disagree that our beliefs don't matter to God in the slightest. I really think that He would prefer that what we believe about Him is accurate. I'm referring to the truth about His nature, His relationship to His Son and to the Holy Ghost, and their relationship to us.
I can agree that understanding God's true nature is essential because it determines what we are to emulate and produce. But none of the other products of human imagination and creativity . . . (which is all they ever can be while we are in this physical womb) . . . that comprise the detailed "precepts and doctrines of men" within the religions has any importance whatsoever.
Quote:
What I don't believe is that getting it wrong is a show-stopper. I cannot accept the idea that God cares more about what we believe than how we treat our fellow human beings. And nothing will ever, ever, ever change that.
I agree wholeheartedly with this.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:53 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
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I still believe, as I said in the opening statement of this thread, that the best way to follow the admonition of St. Paul in 1 Cor. 1:[10] [Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment] is to look at the words of Christ in John 7:[17] If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
If we are doing the will of our Father in heaven, Jesus says WE SHALL KNOW OF THE DOCTRINE whether it is of God or of man.
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:22 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
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We have had a number of great posts the last couple of days. Our previous elder said before he died in 2004 at the age of 89 that there is only one thing we MUST do to inherit eternal life and that is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind. That sounds like a simplistic statement, but it implies much more. Christ raised the bar, saying in matt. 5:[16] Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven [not ourselves].
[17] Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
[18] For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
[19] Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. [Incidentally Martin Luther said in his exposition of the book of Matthew that those who teach men that they can break one of those least commandments were NOT IN the kingdom of heaven.]
[20] For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

If we recive the Holy Ghost, which Peter said in Acts 5:32 that God gives as a gift to those who obey Him we have the power to carry out the strict commandments of Christ. We cannot please God if we have a carnal mind - we must have the Spirit of Christ to keep His commandments.
Christ said in Luke 17:[7] But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
[8] And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
[9] Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
[10] So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
One of my favorite passages is by Paul in Rom. 7:[5] For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
[6] But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
If we are filled with the richness of the Spirit of the Holy Ghost, acts of obedience (including loving the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves) fulfills all of God's commandments. Anything short of this is not serving in the newness of the spirit.
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