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Old 10-20-2009, 11:27 AM
 
7,374 posts, read 7,218,209 times
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Originally Posted by june 7th View Post
For reasons she neither understands nor cares to figure out, June has found herself reading and re-reading the book of Romans, as of late. Therein, June has learned a few things, not the least of which how Paul talks about 'the Law.' It would appear to the little heathen (who barely remembers her days of actually studying theology) that there is a distinction made between the 'old Law' or covenant, and the new. If June is reading correctly, (which of course could admittedly be a real long shot) then what she seems to be gleaning is the very fact that with Christ's death and resurrection, the 'old ways' were eradicated. Adherence to the Law would thus appear to become redefined. Interesting. Paul even goes so far as to point out that it is not as 'black and white' as a 'do or do not' contract; but rather, is much more broadly defined against the backdrop of the resurrected Jesus Christ.

Paul also has a thing or two to say about how believers should interact with one another, along with how they should engage with nonbelievers. This particularly caught June's attention, as she found her 'just heathen June self' sitting there on more than one occasion saying to herself "Well I'll be!"

So here's June's question/questions:

What's the deal with legalism? (Fundamentalism, literalism?) June wonders where that comes from, or even how it is possible. What's the deal with the OT 'all or none/black and white' thinking that she reads on these forums so often that would tend to contradict most of what she reads in most of the NT, but lately, in Romans, in particular? June finds it somewhat compelling that she reads one thing here, another there. June finds it especially compelling that there is one attitude conveyed here, yet another there. June can certainly understand how an atheist could become confused. -If they were a dumb atheist. June hopes that she is not, but then again, does one ever really know? Paul advises against arrogance, so June's more inclined to side with that notion for the time being. --It would seem to make so much better sense, along with the fact that humility and humbleness are things June has always tended to value, endorse, and at least attempt to uphold. Arrogance always bothered June, as it so clearly spoke to such vast insecurity in those who so adamantly needed to be 'right.' June doesn't need to be right. For the time being, she would simply like to understand, and thus needs a bit of clarification.

So help June out here: How should June reconcile in her little heathen mind what she reads here, versus what she reads in the book that so many of you are so fond of quoting? How should June reconcile in her little heathen mind what accounts for such vast interpretations of what is so clearly stated as regards the 'law' and how it should be executed (lived out) among believers? How should June reconcile the underlying attitude that Paul conveys by his insight, acceptance, and understanding of human nature in the aftermath of his own conversion, versus what June reads on the Christianity forum that would appear to speak to less than a lovingly accepting attitude towards others? (Fellow believers, or otherwise.) Who should June listen to and why all the discrepancies? Lastly, what accounts for the fact that -more often than not- June can't help but wonder: Are we all reading the same bible?

Disclaimer: June is asking all of the above questions out of a sincere interest in order to better understand, and to possibly gain some insight as to what and why others believe as they do. June is fully aware of the fact that she is reading Romans as a nonbeliever. -But a nonbeliever who is not totally ignorant and clueless. And hopefully neither arrogant, or unkind.

Thanks in advance to those who respond!


Take gentle care.
Hi June! Wow, you picked an interesting letter to read ... You seem to have comprehended pretty well for your effort so far as far as I can tell from your words.

To answer you question i would like to say that legalism is the idea that there is anything we can do to earn salvation. That we must be without sin in order to be truly saved, or live by certain standards (other than by our conscience in light of the law) to be true believers. The fact is that the law was given to convict us of our sin, not in order to be a manual for how to get to heaven. Christ didn't do away with the law, he fulfilled the law so that in Him we might be justified and deemed righteous by faith(in Him). Remember, there are two laws spoken of especially by paul, the law of sin and death which is the dead letter, and the Law of God unto Christ which is the living word. The law of the dead letter is only good for conviction in the flesh, while the law of God unto Christ is for filling us with the light of Christ in liberty and hope of righteousness in him through the spirit.

These concepts are brought up again and again throughout the new testament, but there are some snags along the way which we come across in the most peculiar of places. Such as the book of 1 John ... I wont try to jump ahead of you in your studies but i can assure you that the difficulty in understanding the difference between legalism and true grace tends to become more difficult to ascertain as you read, because of the language used to communicate the message of the Gospel. That is why people who have been studying all their lives can still remain in error. Not to mention that people rely to much on the understanding of other men instead of relying of the spirit to lead them.

I would be careful if I were you, as some people would like to try and dictate to you what the word means instead of allowing you to make your own mind up on the issues. It is good to listen to other peoples ideas, and to get as many perspectives as possible when it comes to interpretation of scripture, but you should be the one to allow your conscience to guide you in the long run. If you read it perhaps you should just ask ..."God, if your there, will you help me understand?" Just a suggestion.

Also, you should be careful of whatever pretenses you might have already which you bring with you when reading the bible, because the bible is an oracle, and it tends to be allot like that one oracle in the movie "the never ending story"(one of my favorite childhood films!) that was like a mirror ... Because you will end up seeing therein(in the bible) what you bring with you to the table. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you want to get to the greater mysteries of the bible, especially the new testament, you have to be willing to open you heart to the spirit of God, or else whatever personal demons (and we all have them) you might be struggling with will cause you to stumble at the dead letter instead of being liberated by the spirit of the living word. Just a word of caution ... It is very important to be honest with yourself.

In summary, legalism amounts to stumbling at the dead letter, where true Grace is being convicted by the dead letter, but liberated by the living word.

Good reading June, and may the spirit of Christ lead you to the springs of living waters!

Last edited by Ironmaw1776; 10-20-2009 at 11:39 AM..
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:29 AM
 
8,989 posts, read 12,476,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyGrl View Post
He may give those gifts to certain individuals but in the end, if we want to know the "Truth"...that is revealed by God and only God. I based what I said on your direct quote:



Here in your quote you gave more authority to a teacher than you did God. You put more stock in humans than you do your Creator. No human being can reveal spiritual truth better than God himself and if you think otherwise....well I will pray for you.

My teaching comes directly from God and no one else...even Christ himself said there was only One Teacher...you will never find Gods truth in man made doctrine and dogma and this is evidenced by all the differing beliefs that abound through Christianity...are you not aware that God has done this for a purpose?
A person who doesn't learn from a teacher, a preacher, a shepherd who clearly was given a gift by God tends to get weird- two fries short of a happy meal in their theology and this room is more than evident of that confusing, conflicting opinions to June. She needs a good teacher to put her on the right path rather than asking dumb sheep.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:35 AM
 
8,989 posts, read 12,476,891 times
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Originally Posted by katjonjj View Post
You say some of the creepiest things sometimes... You don't have to be a rocket scientist to notice that the way you speak contradicts so much of the bible. Even an atheist can see it!
WOW...not very loving you universalist-lover/ reconciler of all men you" An atheist knows the bible????? LOL.....Who is talking creepy if not illogical. I chalk it up to spiritual immaturity on your part.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
8,435 posts, read 8,416,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironmaw1776 View Post
Hi June! Wow, you picked an interesting letter to read ... You seem to have comprehended pretty well for your effort so far as far as I can tell from your words.
I think June has a better understanding than alot of "true" christians i have met...
Quote:
Christ didn't do away with the law, he fulfilled the law so that in Him we might be justified and deemed righteous by faith(in Him).
Excuse me June here but I have wanted to ask this question for a while..perhaps if you could DM me your answer Ironmaw (and others if you so choose).. Do you think it is our faith that deems us righteous or Jesus' faith? I have very little faith... I am sure it is the size of a mustard seed. Jesus had an incredible amount of faith in God.. I see that in these passages that talk about faith it is most likely Jesus' faith not ours.. what do you think?

Quote:
In summary, legalism amounts to stumbling at the dead letter, where true Grace is be convicted by the dead letter, but liberated by the living word.

Good reading June, and may the spirit of Christ lead you to the springs of living waters!
Yes.. I love Romans! Such a good read. Don't become burdened again with the law but instead rejoice in the freedom of Christ!
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:50 AM
 
8,989 posts, read 12,476,891 times
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Originally Posted by katjonjj View Post
I think June has a better understanding than alot of "true" christians i have met...
Show scripture or is this your fallen, finite personal view? since you are saying, an atheist who remains an atheist has a better understanding than true Christians who have received the Holy Spirit and surrendered to Christ then you are either calling the Holy Spirit a liar or you are calling certain Christians not really Christian? either way very judgmental of you
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
8,435 posts, read 8,416,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fundamentalist View Post
WOW...not very loving you universalist-lover/ reconciler of all men you" An atheist knows the bible????? LOL.....Who is talking creepy if not illogical. I chalk it up to spiritual immaturity on your part.
Have you ever seen the Geico commercial? So easy even a caveman can do it? That is what I mean... literals and fundies take the bible and complicate it making the law a burden that is heavy and hard. They think that it is so hard to become a "true christian" that it can only be understood by scholars...

The truth is:
Matt. 11:30 "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Matthew 23:4 "They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

And what are His commandments?

PS June is not a caveman or a dumb ... just using that as an example.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Prattville, Alabama
4,883 posts, read 5,131,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarletWren View Post
I don't agree that the Bible is just the milk. There is SO MUCH buried under the outer layers of each story.
That was exactly the point I was trying to make...the bible, if just read "literally" is just the milk. You can't find the "solid food" until you start looking into the hidden layers of each story to find the spiritual meaning of them and that revelation only comes from God.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:54 AM
 
8,989 posts, read 12,476,891 times
Reputation: 746
Quote:
Originally Posted by katjonjj View Post
Have you ever seen the Geico commercial? So easy even a caveman can do it? That is what I mean... literals and fundies take the bible and complicate it making the law a burden that is heavy and hard. They think that it is so hard to become a "true christian" that it can only be understood by scholars...

The truth is:
Matt. 11:30 "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Matthew 23:4 "They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

And what are His commandments?

PS June is not a caveman or a dumb ... just using that as an example.
I have not read the gospel of Geico but thanks
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:55 AM
 
Location: kansas
55 posts, read 69,138 times
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The book of Romans, WOW awesome and meatty. For the most part I get that the law is not done away with but the reason for keeping it is confirmation of or love for what Messiah did at the cross and a witness that He is who He said he was. but the Law is tempered with Grace in that no one can keep it perfectly and since that is true we as His loved ones should never use the law as a point of contention or in judgement of anothers faith. Jesus did fulfill the requirements of the law which was death and His own death on the cross cleared the way for us to have life.

I also believe that since the word is God and the Law is a part of the word of God and Jesus is that word then when he taught that if we love him we will keep His commands then he has told us to keep the law which is a part of HIM.

We may disagree on this but it will never change my understanding.
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Old 10-20-2009, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Prattville, Alabama
4,883 posts, read 5,131,811 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fundamentalist View Post
A person who doesn't learn from a teacher, a preacher, a shepherd who clearly was given a gift by God tends to get weird- two fries short of a happy meal in their theology and this room is more than evident of that confusing, conflicting opinions to June. She needs a good teacher to put her on the right path rather than asking dumb sheep.

And how does she decide who is a "good" teacher? One who believes like you do perhaps? Come on....there are plenty of wolves out there just waiting to fleece the flock.

No....she needs to listen to God....His spirit will guide her into all truth...that's what He was sent for.
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