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Old 08-03-2018, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Here.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nateswift View Post
So you believe the Spirit intended to give the authority of God away to a book?
That’s twisting the words quite a bit. Kind of like accusing someone who supports the Constitution of being a citizen of a sheet of paper. The books of the New Testament were selected by the Church guided by the Holy Spirit in the same way the details of the Constitution were selected by the Founders who were guided by the spirit of democracy. Yes, we could get rid of the Constitution and tell everyone to be guided by their own spirit of democracy. How would that turn out?
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Old 08-03-2018, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
That’s twisting the words quite a bit. Kind of like accusing someone who supports the Constitution of being a citizen of a sheet of paper. The books of the New Testament were selected by the Church guided by the Holy Spirit in the same way the details of the Constitution were selected by the Founders who were guided by the spirit of democracy. Yes, we could get rid of the Constitution and tell everyone to be guided by their own spirit of democracy. How would that turn out?
Cynical me thinks that "guided by the spirit of democracy" is a bit loftier than what was reality, lol, but that's not relevant to this discussion.

Both the Church's canon and the Constitution have the same purpose: To provide written guidelines intended to keep order and organization in human social constructs.

Back to the OP's question: Is it necessary for a follower of Jesus Christ to have such guidelines?

The answer to those like you who believe that it was all planned by God from the get-go to have fallen out the way it did is yes.

To the OP and me and a few others who have posted who believe the scriptural canon is wholly a man-made construct, the answer is no.
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
Popularity/vote determines that something is correct, then?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
Is there a better way?
Yes, consider what the effect is on everyone involved and see how each can best be helped out in their relationship with God and with their community. Work until you are sure what the Spirit would have you do with that agape that is the foundation of our relationships.
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
That’s twisting the words quite a bit. Kind of like accusing someone who supports the Constitution of being a citizen of a sheet of paper. The books of the New Testament were selected by the Church guided by the Holy Spirit in the same way the details of the Constitution were selected by the Founders who were guided by the spirit of democracy. Yes, we could get rid of the Constitution and tell everyone to be guided by their own spirit of democracy. How would that turn out?
If you can't see the various currents of conflicts within the early church reflected in the ideas expressed and the choices made as to canon, or if you have utter faith in the integrity of church leadership down through the centuries there is no way to reach you. When the paper dictates the intent and/or application, yes, the Constitution is lost. "Strict construction" is a constitutional and church straight jacket.
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Cynical me thinks that "guided by the spirit of democracy" is a bit loftier than what was reality, lol, but that's not relevant to this discussion.

Both the Church's canon and the Constitution have the same purpose: To provide written guidelines intended to keep order and organization in human social constructs.

Back to the OP's question: Is it necessary for a follower of Jesus Christ to have such guidelines?

The answer to those like you who believe that it was all planned by God from the get-go to have fallen out the way it did is yes.

To the OP and me and a few others who have posted who believe the scriptural canon is wholly a man-made construct, the answer is no.
So what is the alternative? To have a New Testament include every book that mentions Jesus, or not to have a New Testament at all and tell Christians to go find the books for themselves? Might work today with the internet, but how about the first 2000 years of the Church?
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Here.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nateswift View Post
Yes, consider what the effect is on everyone involved and see how each can best be helped out in their relationship with God and with their community. Work until you are sure what the Spirit would have you do with that agape that is the foundation of our relationships.
We should differentiate between personal relationships and religious principles. Yes, in our daily lives, we should be guided by the Spirit and not have to get the Church’s approval for every interaction. But for matters of religion, we should rely on each other, especially those who have devoted their lives to studying the matter.

The OP specifically asked about whether a religious institution should select relevant books for guidance of the believers or whether the believers should do this for themselves. I appreciate the inheritance of my Church, saving me a lot of time sitting in the library reading parchment so that I can devote more time to my personal relationships.
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Here.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nateswift View Post
If you can't see the various currents of conflicts within the early church reflected in the ideas expressed and the choices made as to canon, or if you have utter faith in the integrity of church leadership down through the centuries there is no way to reach you. When the paper dictates the intent and/or application, yes, the Constitution is lost. "Strict construction" is a constitutional and church straight jacket.
Oh, I am aware of the conflicts in the early Church. I wouldn’t say I have “utter” faith. I questiion things like everyone else. That’s why I took the time to read the gnostic gospels. Was it worthwhile for me to do so? No, not really. I could have lived without it and still had a comprehensive understanding of Christ. I wouldn’t expect a novice discerning their faith to do it.

Perhaps you are suggesting that no books are needed at all, and that no religion is needed at all? Just depend on the Holy Spirit to guide our personal faith? For one thing, we need to have some understanding of Christ if we are going to call ourselves Christians. That’s provided by the New Testament and supplemented with the interpretations and theologies of the Church. For another thing, one of the principles of Chritianity is that we are all one body. Imagine all the conflict we would have if every Christian’s independent revelation was considered infallible.
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
66,963 posts, read 62,627,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
So what is the alternative? To have a New Testament include every book that mentions Jesus, or not to have a New Testament at all and tell Christians to go find the books for themselves? Might work today with the internet, but how about the first 2000 years of the Church?
The alternative would be not have a set of writings deemed to be the absolute "right" set of writings in the first place! Again, isn't that the whole point of what the OP is saying?

Have all writings available to anyone to read as they choose, but do not make the writings themselves the law. That, in fact, is exactly what Jesus complained about--that some people put the Law over compassion. Isn't that what we see happening now and have seen all through the history of Christianity?

In reality, traditionally accepted or preferred writings would likely have shaken out naturally, possibly varying by location and/or culture. But rather than establishing a canon that led to the power and ability to condemn, marginalize, and harm others with the quote of this or that verse, turn back to the very base, the very heart of what Christianity is: "Love God and your neighbor." You don't even have to be able to read to learn that one.
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Old 08-03-2018, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Here.
15,454 posts, read 14,009,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
The alternative would be not have a set of writings deemed to be the absolute "right" set of writings in the first place! Again, isn't that the whole point of what the OP is saying?

Have all writings available to anyone to read as they choose, but do not make the writings themselves the law. That, in fact, is exactly what Jesus complained about--that some people put the Law over compassion. Isn't that what we see happening now and have seen all through the history of Christianity?

In reality, traditionally accepted or preferred writings would likely have shaken out naturally, possibly varying by location and/or culture. But rather than establishing a canon that led to the power and ability to condemn, marginalize, and harm others with the quote of this or that verse, turn back to the very base, the very heart of what Christianity is: "Love God and your neighbor." You don't even have to be able to read to learn that one.
I don’t believe the Church deems the chosen books of the New Testament to be absolutely right. More like: these are the most accurate recordings of the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. I’m most certain there are some innaccuracies. Human error in recollection long after actual occurance, bias of the writer, errors in copying and translation, etc. Still, highly credible and worthy of veneration.

You say “have all the writing available to anyone”. How? In the New Testament or simply in a library available for perusal? If the former, why would you include books that you don’t deem to be of value? If the latter, I agree with you. Don’t ban them, just say these books have not been deemed useful for one’s understanding of Christ.

You say that no book should be used to condemn others, but what if those books record the life a person who condemned those who condemned others. Jesus told the orthodox Jews that they created man-made laws that contradicted the law of God. Seems to me that condemnation of condemnation is exactly the thing that should be included in religious texts.

With regard to the topic at hand: why endorse books that don’t have “Love God and your neighbor” as a central element. I really don’t care if Jesus stretched the leg of a wooden table to make it stop wobbling (as was mentioned in the Gospel of Thomas, I believe). It has nothing to do with loving God or my neighbor.
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Old 08-03-2018, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
17,071 posts, read 8,629,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
We should differentiate between personal relationships and religious principles. Yes, in our daily lives, we should be guided by the Spirit and not have to get the Church’s approval for every interaction. But for matters of religion, we should rely on each other, especially those who have devoted their lives to studying the matter.

The OP specifically asked about whether a religious institution should select relevant books for guidance of the believers or whether the believers should do this for themselves. I appreciate the inheritance of my Church, saving me a lot of time sitting in the library reading parchment so that I can devote more time to my personal relationships.
I'm sorry, what "religious principles?"
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