Apostasy and Worship

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This is a thread started because the subject drifted on the Keyes/Bob Jones thread.

This thread will be a discussion on what people think the Christian God's requirements are for worship, and why, and on whether all organized Christian churches are apostate, and why.

No doubt the discussion will drift, and I probably missed some of what others will want to discuss, so feel free to add those things.

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 25, 2000


God is Y2K compliant but she doesn't believe in humans.

-- Fredrick Nietsche (fredn@existential.net), February 25, 2000.

Well, Brian claimed he was no scholar, but I felt he nailed it on the head the other night.

Patrick on the other hand CLAIMS to be a scholar and he said volumes of nothing. I will be interested to see if he maintains his "civil" behavior while blowing hot air tonight or whether he will finally be forthcoming. If this sounded rude, it was meant to be. I dislike folks who claim to KNOW and then lead folks on and say absolutely nothing. I don't mind if you disagree with me, just SAY SOMETHING. Too many evangelists out there today trying to "preach to the choir" and "be all to everybody" without offending anybody. So alright already, offend me Patrick, but tell me something.

George, I'd like to hear from you. Didn't agree with you, but by gosh you said SOMETHING. I admire you for that.

That goes for Marcus and others too...Love to hear from Mumsie as always....Mad Monk too...and others too numerous to mention.

I'll start~

I don't buy the many decrees by the Pope that seem to change over time which are supposedly divinely inspired.....first he's a saint(e.g. Christopher), then his miracles weren't so miraculous. First priests could marry, then they couldn't, Mary ascended just like Jesus, so many more and too numerous to mention....I just find it difficult to impossible to fathom his infallibility remaining intact...Would this constitute Apostasy?

How about LDS? Multiple marriages are currently in abeyance (not rescinded, mind you). It is claimed that they were instituted of God as in the days of the Patriarchs....don't buy it. God created Adam and Eve...not Adam and Eve and Phylicia and Lois and Betty...When the world was perfect...There was only one of each..on the ark, Noah had one wife and each of his son's had only one wife each...Is this apostasy?

I know I have ruffled feathers here, but I am genuinely interested in the rebuttal. I have LDS friends who cannot justify it. I am married to a Catholic, for heaven's sake, and he won't accept it and left the church...So EXPLAIN IT TO ME PLEASE!

-- Alice (Looking@glass.com), February 25, 2000.

Please define "apostasy" and "worship" as you want it to relate to this thread. Thanks.

-- want to understand (and@follow.discussion), February 25, 2000.

Alice, for your husband's sake I am glad the Spanish Inquisition is currently on hold. It was never officially terminated, mind you, so tell him to watch his six.

-- canthappen (n@ysayer.com), February 25, 2000.

F.N....your blasphemy is noted.

The question is why apostacy exists. I believe it is for the same reason we have fallen angels. They said to God, "we won't serve". The apostates think of themselves as Gods, answering to no higher authority. Their mantra..."love oneself even to contempt of God."

The seminaries have been ruined by apostates at the highest levels. Proper catechesis is replaced with heresy.

The Church is not totally dead, however. Just look at the character of the seminaries that are dying and the ones that are flourishing. They are like night and day.

It's been my oberservation that the Pro-Life cause is a very ecumenical movement out of which great things will come...especially from our youth.

If your sick of what you hear from the pulpit, then get out of that church and find one that is administered by a holy person who would readily say that he nothing more than a pile of dung in God's eyes.

-- Russ (aa2gs@isoc.net), February 25, 2000.

canthappen.....(big grin) Noted, good buddy...But they'll have to catch him first!

-- Alice (Looking@glass.com), February 25, 2000.

I believe that God has said that there are certain things that we (humans) should do and other things that we should not. Some of the things that we should do are difficult or painful or detract from other things we might want to do. Some of the things that we should not do are enjoyable and are things we _do_ want to do.

So there are two different areas in which each person must choose whether to obey God or to obey himself. Whenever a person chooses to obey himself, he has usurped from God the choice of what is right and what is wrong, he has made himself God. This was Adam's sin and the sin of all mankind after him.

Fortunately for man, God is a forgiving and understanding God that has put in place a plan whereby even sinning man can be forgiven, have his sins washed clean.

So, I believe, that God's requirement for worship from man is that man do what God says we should do and refrain from what God says we should not do, in short, we are to obey God. If one does this (or tries, since none can be perfect) that is true worship. What one makes his master is what one worships. One manifestation of worship, perhaps the most important, is to obey.


-- George Valentine (georgevalentine@usa.net), February 25, 2000.

Alice...The ascension of Jesus and Mary are not the same. Jesus rose from His own power, Mary didn't.

It is true that in the past priests were married....some of our first apostles were married, I believe. The current practice of priestly celibacy has nothing to do with Papal Infallability.

-- Russ (aa2gs@isoc.net), February 25, 2000.

I guess I was mistaken. I thought there were none righteous no not one. Doesn't this apply to the pope?

-- D. Fender (dfender@shive-hattery.com), February 25, 2000.

D. Fender...I don't know about your reference to "Rightousness", but on the subject of infallibility, we can go back to a basic understanding that Christ is the Truth. Christ endowed the Church's shepards with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. Not only the pope, but the bishops when acting with the pope, speak infallibly through the Magisterium in Ecumenical Councils.

If I may speculate on your reference to "Rightousness", let me add that the Pope sins as do the bishops. Perhaps you'll find it surprising, but, the pope goes to confession.

-- Russ (aa2gs@isoc.net), February 25, 2000.

If the Catholic church is without credibility, then there's no reason to believe the bible, or to take Christianity seriously at all.

If the pope has apostasized, then Christianity is a dead issue, & there isn't anything of importance here to discuss.

-- and you know (that's@notthe.case), February 25, 2000.

Alice, teehee, see how they sublimely ignore the Inquisition.

-- canthappen (n@ysayer.com), February 25, 2000.


I'm just looking for answers as to papal infallibility. Is the papacy infallible? What does the word Pope stand for? When we talk about worship and apostasy do we look to the Bible or to tradition?


-- D. Fender (dfender@shive-hattery.com), February 25, 2000.

and you know,

I couldn't tell if you had your tongue in your cheek or not. If not, then please tell me exactly what the Catholic Church and Christianity have in common?

Personally, I know of no organized religion, Christain or otherwise, that is even close to teaching the true meaning of Christ's work. I have read only one single book that I believe approaches it and that is, "The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ", transcribed by Levi.


-- Jimmy Splinters (inthe@dark.com), February 25, 2000.

True enough Jimmy!!!!Let's compare,the Apostles worshiped GOD,the pope worships satan,the Apostles lead rightous lifes,the pope sold nerve gas to the nazis.Starting to get the picture? A former catholic,now a worshiper of GOD.

-- just a thought (tigerpm@netscape.com), February 25, 2000.

"...please tell me exactly what the Catholic Church and Christianity have in common?"

First, tell me why anyone who dismisses the witness of nearly 2000 years of Christianity would choose to believe in the bible.

-- why would anyone (why@do.you), February 25, 2000.

"If the Catholic church is without credibility, then there's no reason to believe the bible, or to take Christianity seriously at all."


-- Markus Archus (m@rkus.archus), February 25, 2000.

"First, tell me why anyone who dismisses the witness of nearly 2000 years of Christianity would choose to believe in the bible"

From the context, I assume that this applies to anyone who rejects Roman Catholicism. Protestantism does not reject the witness of nearly 2000 years of Christianity. It rejects the claim that the opinions of individuals who have participated in that witness over the past 2000 years can supercede or contradict what was originally taught in the Bible.

-- Markus Archus (m@rkus.archus), February 25, 2000.

For our edification and enlightenment that we may discourse of one mind ........ ooooooh, sounds cool to me!

Apostasy as defined by Random House:

A total desertion of or departure from one's religion, principles, party, cause, etc.

Apostate: One who forsakes his religion, cause, party, etc.

Are we all on the same page now?

-- Alice (Looking@glass.com), February 25, 2000.

A definition of "apostasy"?

An individual is either on God's side, and has a relationship with Him, or not. Once a man has been in a relationship with God, and that relationship ends, the man becomes apostate. It's like being married and then divorced--you can't be divorced if you never got married.

When discussing whether a church organization is apostate or not, a little different definition might be needed. It seems that the usual definition is one of doctrinal correctness. A certain amount of corruption in doctrine equals apostasy.

There is some question in my mind as to the amount of doctrinal corruption that would reach the level of apostasy (where is the line?), and I also think a certain magnitude of failure to apply truth that is "believed" may also be evidence of apostasy no matter how good the doctrine is. (For me, 1 Cor. 13 also provokes a lot of thought on this issue.)

Jesus also told us some parables that I think were a warning to us that the church would not be completely pure (mustard seed parable, Matt 13:31,Mark 4:31, Luke 13:19, and yeast parable, Matt 13:33, Luke 13:21, as per Matt 16:6,11, and 1 Cor 5:6-8, et. al.), and that some "tares" would even look the same as some "wheat" until the final sorting out, done by the angels (Matt 13).

My impromptu definition of "worship":

I think that obedience and loyalty are prime components of worship. But you can be loyal to your child, and you can obey the government, without worshipping either. Maybe "worship" is to "actively belong to" someone, with no right to sit in judgement over them, or to take them to task, for any reason.

Also, someone can say he is obeying God, and not be. Someone can also say he is loyal to his Creator, and not be. Human beings often lie with facility even to themselves, and are thus in dire need of a spiritual mirror, a "Mirror of Truth".

C.S. Lewis in one book from his Narnia series had a situation where a man was serving a false god, Tash (?), but doing the right thing with a right motive. Another man was supposedly serving the true god (Aslan), but doing wrong things with wrong motives in his heart.

Lewis was saying in his story that the man supposedly serving Tash was really serving Aslan, and vice versa for the other man. That is quite an interesting idea, but with possible implications I'm not sure about.

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 25, 2000.

D. Fender...The word "Pope" (your capitalization)means to me..."The title, meaning 'father' given to the bishop of Rome, who is the successor of St. Peter, and as such the vicar of Christ, the visable head of the Church, and the teacher of all the faithful. Now, among Greek Orthodoxnthis title is used for priests. For the sake of discussion, I'm referring to the bishop of Rome.

I don't believe the papacy itself is infallible. If the Pope says that he agrees that Al Gore invented the internet, we as Catholics don't have to believe him and can have a different viewpoint. The Pope when, as the supreme head of the Church, he solemnly defines truths of faith and morals to be held by the Universal Church, his pronouncements are 'infallible'.

When I talk about worship and apostacy, I need to go right back to the basic premise, that Christ is Truth. Once we decide that we aren't God, worship of the true God comes quite easily. In order to be an apostate, I believe you need to be a baptised Catholic, first, and then become an atheist or rationalist. A Catholic who becomes an apostate is automatically excummunicated and needs to seek repentance.

Since the Bible didn't come into any widespread use until after the invention of the printing press, I don't think an argument can be made that apostacy didn't exist before the 1500s.

There is quite a bit that could said about "tradition". Please allow me to drive right to the heart and say that Catholics believe Traditionalism is an erroneous philosophic system which denies certain of the powers of human reason.

In case you were wondering, these aren't my opinions...I'm using authentic Catholic teaching tools approved by the Magisterium. If I misrepresented anything it was out of my weakness and not design.

-- Russ (aa2gs@isoc.net), February 25, 2000.

Let's differentiate "Apostasy" from "Heresy". Apostasy (a total rejection of the faith) differs from heresy, which is a denial of one or another truth of faith.

-- Russ (aa2gs@isoc.net), February 25, 2000.

What amount of heresy equals apostasy? In doctrine or application?

Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are all part of a triune God. Some people believe in modalism, some in Arianism, etc. Is that enough to make them apostate?

How about the Christian-turned-eastern-philosopher, who now believes that Jesus was a bodhisattva, or will be reincarnated as another guru? Is that enough?

How about a mass murderer, who says Jesus told him to do it, and even believes it? Or the Christian who points a gun at a Muslim, and says (like the Muslims did too) "Convert or die!"?

Or the "worshipper of God" who allows his concubine to be raped all night while he sleeps, and then says, "Get up, let's go." Then he gets mad because she's dead--his property has been destroyed. The whole nation slaughters the men who did it, and any associates they can find. Then they let any men who escaped from that ignoble group kidnap innocent girls to take as wives, because they don't want the men's lineage to die out.

How about a king who murders one of his loyal subjects because he wants another wife? Or allows a son to rape a daughter with no repercussions?

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 25, 2000.

S. Kohl you are incoherent and cannot be responded to rationally. And, yes I know you are referring to the guy in Judges and David.

-- canthappen (n@ysayer.com), February 25, 2000.

"Patrick on the other hand CLAIMS to be a scholar and he said volumes of nothing. I will be interested to see if he maintains his "civil" behavior while blowing hot air tonight or whether he will finally be forthcoming. If this sounded rude, it was meant to be. I dislike folks who claim to KNOW and then lead folks on and say alright absolutely nothing. I don't mind if you disagree with me, just SAY SOMETHING. Too many evangelists out there today trying to "preach to the choir" and "be all to everybody" without offending anybody. So already, offend me Patrick, but tell me something."


.....I apologize; I didn't see you back there. Perhaps you'd care to stand on your chair...

.....I'm afraid I didn't see where I "CLAIMED" to be a scholar, if I failed to say much thus far, it was because the conversation was just beginning, and I was answering specific questions from S. Kohl. I don't believe you'd be able to refer to me as an "evangelist" either; please don't expect to draw me out of my civility, I'm sure there have been larger intellect try and fail. As far as your intentional rudeness, I'm willing to overlook it this once. ;o)

.....I'll post my answer, as promised, on the original thread in just a short while... did you have a specific question, or just feel like an attack? Have a midol, and join us in the original discussion.

-- Patrick (pmchenry@gradall.com), February 25, 2000.

Patrick, "Have a Midol, and join us in the original discussion" is a very sexist remark.

-- Maggie (song bird@iwon.com), February 25, 2000.

Apostasy is "knowing the truth but teaching otherwise".

The church in America in the last year of the 20th century has little to do with Biblical Christianity. That is because mankind has refused to recognize his sinful state and resulting moral obligation to a creator God. Need an example? The name-it-and-claim-it, think positive,God is love, and emotionalism is worship crowd.


-- NH (new@mindspring.com), February 25, 2000.

canthappen wrote: "S. Kohl you are incoherent and cannot be responded to rationally. And, yes I know you are referring to the guy in Judges and David." (Not too hard to tell, was it!)

I'm not sure listing some of the difficult to categorize examples I listed counts as being incoherent (Or maybe you don't find any of them at all difficult to categorize?).

But either way, in those examples, something is very wrong somewhere. How wrong (heretical) is each example? Which cross the line into apostasy (enough heresy to count as having abandoned the faith in the true God)?

Is it simple to decide when someone is apostate? Maybe once they get to a certain point, but that's long after the event.

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.comS), February 25, 2000.

S.Kohl, apostate from what? Catholic Church, Lutheran, SBC, NIV, WCC, NASB, BJU, LDS, PCC, ORU, NKJV, SCLC, etc? The list is endless. And that is just 'christendom'. Do you know where the Truth is? Until you can point me to the Truth, to start with, your religious ruminations on apostasy are worthless. Ahem, no offense intended.

-- canthappen (n@ysayer.com), February 25, 2000.

Nancy wrote: "Apostasy is "knowing the truth but teaching otherwise".

I think the Pharisees in general were apostate for another reason too. They did teach a bunch of their own rules as if they were from God, so their doctrine wasn't what it should have been. But I have to admit that they also put a lot of effort into following the rules, even the ones that were from God.

In fact, they were pretty righteous by the standards of the day--Paul had more reason to boast in works than anyone, partly because he was a past Pharisee, he said. Strangely, the Pharisees, and not the obvious sinners, were the ones wanting Jesus dead. They also were the ones who tithed mint, but neglected justice and mercy.

If we're supposed to tithe the mint (the easy part--the rules) and also not neglect justice and mercy (the part our selfish, vengeful hearts resist), then who can be saved?

I doubt anyone has perfect doctrine, and no one would even look for perfect application of his own beliefs from a human being. We are really saved by grace, through faith, not through works (intellectual or physical). That is why there is no place for pride in any way, when you're a Christian. Pride is a sign of serious trouble on the inside.

On the other hand, salvation by grace (as opposed to "cheap grace") has to be considered in conjunction with the parable of the wise and foolish man. The wise man built his house upon the rock, and the foolish man built his house upon the sand. The house on the sand fell when the storm came--destruction. The wise man (Jesus interpreted this parable) is the one who hears His word and also puts it into practice. The foolish man is the one who just hears it.

Hope this wasn't too incoherent for anyone--I can always clarify :-).

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 25, 2000.

What does religion have to do with God?

Thousands of years ago fertile crescent agricultural societies were invaded by northern mountain warrior peoples. They had previously evolved separately so that a distinction in head types could be discerned. Those that descended from the fertile crescent had rounded heads whereas the mountain invaders had more of a point on top. When archeologists catagorized the skulls, they found that the northern invaders supplanted the government, heads of religion and heads of the military. The merchants, artisans, farmers and other lay persons had the rounded head.

This has been the rule for ten thousand years. The three clawed monster that takes your rights away have their roots in government, religion and the military.

-- Fredrick Nietsche (fredn@existential.net), February 25, 2000.

Canthappen wrote: "S.Kohl, apostate from what?"

Well, "This thread will be a discussion on what people think the Christian God's requirements are for worship, and why, and on whether all organized Christian churches are apostate, and why." So I'm thinking that we're discussing apostasy from faith in the true God, in which faith the central theme is that God became man in order to reconcile sinners to their Creator.

Canthappen also wrote: "...And that is just 'christendom'. Do you know where the Truth is? Until you can point me to the Truth, to start with, your religious ruminations on apostasy are worthless. Ahem, no offense intended."

No offense taken. Jesus said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." Personally, I believe him, so that's where I'd point you. A lot of his life on earth and what he and his Father said is recorded...where else but in the Bible...if you should decide to check it out.

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 25, 2000.

S. Kohl, I see the sarcasm eluded you. I asked you where the Truth was and you say 'Jesus'. And which Bible is He in? I have read THE Bible many times over. Apparently you are into the perversions of the Word, which explains your muddleheadedness.

-- canthappen (n@ysayer.com), February 25, 2000.

Caveat: Some of the following is humor, okay? If it makes you feel bad, I'm sorry. But you called me "muddleheaded," and I'm assuming you're open to some humor in response.

If I accept your doctrines, built up from your reading of the Bible, will I cease being muddleheaded? Is that the true Bible (your commentary/understanding of THE Bible, whatever it is)?

If so, perhaps you should begin your publishing immediately, starting with a rough draft in this thread, showing the most important beliefs first (a Statement-of-Faith type thing), and moving to the lesser ones. Maybe you could put a dotted line (for my sake) between the truths/principles/facts necessary for salvation, and those just necessary to have perfect doctrine like you do :-).

On the other hand, which perversions of the Bible (I'm using a perverted Bible? Oh no!!!) are you talking about, if you don't mean I have to just accept your commentary and reading and thinking (or whoever you got it from, if it's not yours) as the true Bible? You don't mean that I need to use King James English only, do you? Because I speak today's English much better, and you probably do too.

If you do think I should only read/quote/believe the KJV, then I would say: Maybe we should just have the Bible in our own current language (like Tyndale and Luther advocated for the people back in their day, and like Wycliff does now), and not in an archaic dialect that used to be (some of) our ancestors' language!

We could keep any of the other versions' mistranslated verses/words in King James, of course. Or maybe it would be better if you could just highlight any mistranslations in the other versions, replacing them with the KJV meaning you already know. Any perfidious insertions in the other versions could be crossed out, and anything missing in the other versions could be inserted. Only in our current language. Why hasn't someone thought of this before???

Why you? Why not you? You understand the KJV, correct? So what's to stop you? Translate it for us.

Seriously though:

Wouldn't it be great if Jesus could talk to us, the way he did to the Pharisees? He taught so clearly and simply, and explained scripture so incontrovertibly, that even the Pharisees with their complicated arguments and tricks were not able to answer him. Instead, they killed him. It was after he healed a man on the Sabbath, I believe, that they decided to go through with it.

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 25, 2000.

Glad to read the definitions.
What's with that "God is love" being wrong?

What do you think He is if not love?

-- definition (helps@clarify.religion), February 25, 2000.

God is first and foremost a Holy God, a God of JUSTICE!!!. There are many aspects to His nature. Love is but one aspect of God's nature. He is also a God of constancy and his response to sin is the same now as it was 5000 years ago. When He nuked Sodom and Gomorrah did God say to the folks there "I love you" ?

Truth is objective reality.


-- NH (new@mindspring.com), February 25, 2000.

s.Kohl, I think the Pharisee's rile really got up when Jesus raised Lazurus-John 11. But, note verse 53. Anyway it is presupposition all around. My presupposition is the KJV. It is the only Truth I have ever seen. What is yours?

-- canthappen (n@ysayer.com), February 25, 2000.

(God is Holy, and God is also Love. Justice will be served--it was served on Jesus, for us, and will be served on those who want to "pay their own way" as well.)

Rom 5:17-18 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.

(Anyone who wants to be reconciled to God can be. Knowing God is life, and separation from God is death. God is the God of the living, not the dead. Yet He is the God of Abraham. Ergo, Abraham is not dead, and neither are Christian who have "fallen asleep," or died in our world. I just think that is neat.)

John 3:16-21 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

(Verse 21 is what I hope will come to pass in my life, more and more, until I get to go to my real home. And the most wonderful thing is that my three-year old will be there too--she has just decided to become a follower of Christ herself!)

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 25, 2000.

And S. Kohl don't evade the question, which is: Do you know of a Truth outside of you and your learned and inherited opinions or have you manufactured a 'truth' which suits your prideful intellect and keeps you in good company? 'Come together, right now!' Now Lennon was a better savior than Jesus Christ wasn't he?

-- canthappen (n@ysayer.com), February 25, 2000.

"s.Kohl, I think the Pharisee's rile really got up when Jesus raised Lazurus-John 11. But, note verse 53. Anyway it is presupposition all around. My presupposition is the KJV. It is the only Truth I have ever seen. What is yours?"

Canthappen: You're right, that's when Caiphas and the chief priests called the infamous meeting of the Sanhedrin, after the people told them about the raising of Lazarus. I was thinking of Mark 3:6.

My presupposition as to translations of the Bible is that God is good and trustworthy, as well as able to do whatever He chooses to do. Basically, I already trust Him with my eternal soul, and I trust Him to follow through on what He said regarding salvation; trusting Him to preserve scripture's message (His message in the first place) is much less than that.

I believe that He has preserved what we need to know (and He's the reason we can know it anyway), so that it is found today in scripture that He inspired for the purpose of telling us what He expects and who He is, with a pretty decent paper trail of manuscripts, too, to help us ferret out translator errors or to identify deliberate changes. I think the evidence is that scripture is reliable.

Further, I'm pretty happy with the NIV, though I like to check passages in several versions, including the KJV, and the interlinear Bible, if I'm trying to get a better understanding of a difficult verse. My brother seems to think the NAS is the most accurate modern-language translation. They all have a problem in some spots in the Old Testament (none at all consequential that I've checked), because the meaning of the word used originally is uncertain today.

Anyway, no one rejects God because of lack of evidence, I would guess. Look at the story of Lazarus and the rich man (even someone risen from the dead is no better than scripture for turning people around).

I could see people easily rejecting what a Christian said--sometimes we're bad examples, if someone is looking for an excuse. And there is a lot of "us" mixed into church structure too (we humans have to create structure to work together, of course). But something different is needed to explain why people would reject Christ, and his words.

In John 5 starting at vs. 31, Jesus showed that it was not lack of evidence causing some Jews to reject what he said about who he was, but a lack of love for God in their hearts. That lead to rejection of his message.

Anyway, I'll have to continue the discussion another time. Good night!

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 25, 2000.

Canthappen wrote: "...Now Lennon was a better savior than Jesus Christ wasn't he?"

You don't have a split personality, do you? JK It was that dastardly sarcasm again...I'm learning aren't I!

BTW, pride is something anyone intelligent or respected by others or who looks down on others has to look out for. It is a very blinding thing. I'm very aware of the danger, and thanks for the warning.

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 25, 2000.

nitey nite SK. I read the NKJV for a few years. It was a waste but opened my eyes and the Lord led me back to the KJV. I pray for you the best. Kyle.

-- canthappen (n@ysayer.com), February 25, 2000.

Unfortunately this will probably be my last post on this threaad as we are getting ready to go on vacation in a couple of hours. But it would appear that Patrick did indeed lose his cool with the midol crack. But cornered men with nothing to say are very often like that. Sorry Patrick...I'd make a personal crack too, but that would be descending to your level.

You once again "hinted" that you would answer, but alas we are all bereft by the silence....again. You speak volumes of hot air.

".I've said that I really didn't wish to enter this particular fray, but not without strong reason. It is quite obvious to me, that, you consider yourself knowledgeable enough to splash your comments regarding Scripture upon various threads over the last months, you are not quite up to the level of comprehension that would be required for you and I to relate to one another on this topic. I understand how condescending that sounds,"

You didn't want to enter the fray, but you posted....sounds a bit schizophrenic to me....sounds condescending? Well, yes, Patrick it DOES.....

Still have no idea as to your beliefs beyond the footnote that you mentioned about Christ dying on a pole and not a cross. Yup, that's gonna destroy my belief system....

You promise much and deliver little. Sorry but no dice. I'm sure I'm not the only one to go, "alright already.....Just WHAT is it you have to say, Patrick?"

Others here are not so hesitant to tell us their beliefs. Are you frightened that you will be "flamed"? I'm sorry, but that is part of the risk you take when you post here. ARe you afraid that a greater intellect that yours will reveal your ignorance? Perhaps, but we are all here to learn.

Some people come here to "instruct" us and then walk away when they find we "just don't get it"....others learn that their precious belief systems may have a few holes.

Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

I am STILL waiting to be "enlightened" Patrick.....Well??????

-- Alice (Looking@glassdarkly.com), February 26, 2000.

S.Cole, that was a nice discussion you started. A lot of people are confused....this is a good way to reveal the truth!


-- NH (new@mindspring.com), February 26, 2000.

S. Kohl,

Hi. I'm Jewish, but I've been fascinated by the New Testament. My faith is not biblically-based, though; and there's a long story behind that. Anyway, you brought up an issue that has puzzled me for a long time. You said,

"We are really saved by grace, through faith, and not through works."

How do you reconcile this with James 2:14 - 2:26, where it seems you need works to be saved as well?


-- eve (eve_rebekah@yahoo.com), February 26, 2000.

Eve, I love it when our brothers and sisters of the Jewish faith find the truth so easily. You have it....faith without works is a dead faith.

I'm thinking of the seen at the well when Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more. He didn't save "you're saved...be on your way". Why did he say "sin no more"? There must be consequences of those sins...wouldn't you think? The Jews are real big on attonement...aren't they?

Just as a tip to anyone sincerely looking for answers to questions relating to faith....check out www.ewtn.com there is a section for asking questions. Yes...it's from a Catholic perspective...but why would that stop anyone from at least asking and finding out what the authentic answer is. When you're asking questions about the Catholic faith these days, you get some pretty squirrely answers sometimes...go to a source that knows the real TRUTH.

-- Russ (aa2gs@isoc.net), February 26, 2000.

Nancy wrote: "S.Cole, that was a nice discussion you started. A lot of people are confused....this is a good way to reveal the truth!"

Well, my intention isn't to confuse. Though I have to admit, some things in scripture and that God allows are confusing. But why would we, with our limited perspective and diminutive life-spans, think that there would be nothing out there to confuse us? That would be pretty arrogant of us.

Intelligence isn't how you understand spiritual truth, because it seems intelligent people often miss what is spiritually obvious. The wisdom of man is foolishness to God. Thinking we are wise, we're apt to become fools. The fool has said in his heart, there is no God. And if we don't love others, we don't know God.

In my experience, people who have nothing they wonder about, in their belief system, are really just going to some other human to tell them the answer, which they then believe. It's not confusing that way.

But at least some of what they think is the truth really isn't. And because they don't know how that other person came to that understanding, they are completely unable to reexamine their thinking--it wasn't their thinking, or their understanding, in the first place. This is not a good situation to be in.

Personally, I'd rather know what I am sure of, and also know where the holes in my understanding are. I want to be willing to listen to what others have to say, too, just in case something I think I know is actually a belief I just coopted from someone else without thinking about it or internalizing it.

The reason I have the courage to face my own ideas like this is that I trust the One who Created me. God told us that if we seek His kingdom first, we will find it. He didn't say how long it would take, and He didn't promise to tell/explain everything, only what we need to find His kingdom (read Job--we can't put the true God in a box of our own making).

Who is likely to understand the most? God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Spiritual truth is spiritually discerned. God is our source of understanding, whether through scripture or otherwise (eg, interpersonal relationships). We need to keep that in mind as we apply whatever He has already taught us in our seeking of the truth.

Every Christian has things that they know they fall short in, I would think. Don't you think that that is important, when it comes to what God is going to help us learn? In the parable of the talents, the one who didn't use what he'd been given ended up losing even what he had, and the one who put what he'd been given to work was given even more. Same thing with applying the lessons we've already learned. If you don't, you may be headed into stagnation or even go backwards in your understanding, or be led into deception. But you might not realize it. The Bible has been used to justify things that are obviously wrong, according to the whole of scripture--how could someone doing that miss the truth while reading about it? In my opinion, it is probably because they were proud and disobedient, and therefore had little or no spiritual discernment. God said if we lack wisdom, to ask Him. He also told us to be persistent about what we ask for, like the woman with the unjust judge.

There's no way we can avoid relying on the trustworthiness and goodness of our Creator. But walking by faith in this way is not easy.

Anyone can be confused, deceived, and led astray, perhaps even without knowing it. Including whatever religious leader you follow. They're no more immune than you are, and because they're highly placed, they may be even more vulnerable to pride. Watch out for pride, because that puts a person on a fast track to deception.

I have scriptures to back up these things that I think, but obviously this is just my understanding based on my own study. And I could be wrong on something and not realize it.

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 26, 2000.

Eve wrote: "'We are really saved by grace, through faith, and not through works.'" "How do you reconcile this with James 2:14 - 2:26, where it seems you need works to be saved as well?"

This is how I explain it:

There are two kinds of faith, or belief. There is the kind the demons have, and the kind that Abraham had. The kind the demons have won't lead to salvation, and isn't acceptable to God.

The kind that the demons had just caused them to tremble--they were still in reality God's enemies, not His friends (James 2:19). God sees a man's heart, but all we see is the actions. There is a correspondence between the heart and the action.

The kind of faith that Abraham had made him God's friend--it resulted in an internal change that manifested as a behavior change. Vs. 23 says that Abraham believed, and God counted that as righteousness, and vs. 22 says that his faith was made complete by what he did. That is the kind of faith Ephesians 2:8, 9 is talking about.

You could say that this is the difference between intellectual belief and belief upon which you stake your all, from the heart. And God can't be fooled as to which type of belief we have, even though other people perhaps can.

But doesn't it make sense? God doesn't let people trick Him into saving them by finding a loophole in the rules (so they can both go to heaven and also be God's enemy by sinning with impunity).

Many will say Jesus is Lord after they die, and that they did lots of things in his name. But he will say that he never knew them, because they didn't do the will of his Father (Matt 7:22). The sinner's prayer isn't a magical incantation after which a person can continue to be God's enemy--salvation is the result of an actual reconciliation to God.

As far as the idea that works actually save us, in the manner by which we earn our paycheck at work, this is the problem I see. God's standard is perfection, because He is holy. He is also just, and the penalty for sin must be paid. Just as we feel that what Jeffrey Daumer did was horrible, God feels all sin is horrible. JD didn't feel he was that bad, and neither do we.

So when we're better than the next guy, we feel more confident about our own righteousness, not realizing that even the "little" sins left in our lives are still abhorrent to God. And they still must be paid for. Because God loves us, He met the requirement of justice Himself, though we must repent with a saving faith, like Abraham had, to be part of that provision.

This kind of faith is a choice, so we can say "Lord I believe, help my unbelief," when we feel the emotion of doubt. Failing to make a decision is of course also a decision.

After a person has become God's friend, like Abraham, it's not that they're perfect--but the Christian begins to hate what God hates and love what God loves over time. There is growth if there is life. Paul cried out to God to deliver him from his sinful nature, as in Romans 7. That's how Christians should feel toward their own sin.

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 26, 2000.

S. Kohl:

This is a good topic.

Do you feel that if every Christian, of no matter what persuasion, were to 'Study to show that he/she is approved unto God, rightly dividing the Word of Truth', and 'Wherewith shall a young person cleanse his/her way?: By giving heed to the Word of God', would we who call ourselves Christians be much more in agreement than we now are?

And would the unbelievers who are sometimes erroneously ranked with the Christians fall away? Of course, I believe both would happen. 'The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword'. It cuts right to the important matters.

In Him,


-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 26, 2000.

Also, we should, 'Desire the sincere milk of the Word, that we may grow thereby.'

-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 26, 2000.

Hate to post three times in a row, but I responded before having read the whole thread. I just printed it out and read it.

The first apostate was Lucifer. He began as an 'Angel of Light' and ended by saying, "I shall be like the Most High God." God summarily tossed him out of Heaven.

Peter, a simple fisherman, was chosen by Jesus to 'follow Him'. He also denied Christ three times before the cock crowed. he also said to the person who bowed down to kiss his hand: "Get up, I also am just a man". (Ring? - -Hand? - -is there a difference?)

Jesus didn't have a place to lay His head, but most churches today are very expensive enterprises. Jeweled crowns, expensive finery , and palacial places of worship don't jibe with what Christ said to his simple followers.

I don't really like to criticize only the Catholic Church for these things, because Protestant chuches do the same thing. Evangelical/ Fundamental churches have a name-it-and-claim-it philosophy, sometimes.

Churches met in homes in the early days of the church.

During the 30s and 40s when I was a child, my two best friends were Catholic. Since that time, the 'Unchangeable Church" has changed to allow the eating of meat on Friday, and dropping the requirement of women to wear head-coverings when entering a church.

I believe that they will also drop their traditional position on abortions, gays, marriage for priests, and allowing women to be priests, before too many years pass.

Are Protestant churches any better? I don't think so. When I became a Christian, I discovered that my mother would rather be a Baptist than a Christian. One of her ancestors had baptized Roger Williams - - the founder of the Baptist Church in America.

She was brought up to not smoke, swear, play cards, wear makeup, go to movies, play cards, etc., etc., but didn't believe the Bible was the Word of God or that Jesus was born of a virgin. Well, if those things are not true, then we of all people are most miserable, as the Apostle Paul said.

Yet she still considered herself to be a Christian, but trusted in Franklin Roosevelt much more than in Jesus Christ. I think many in our churches are in the same position today. They think government can solve their problems.

We are all, the pope included, sinners saved by grace - - the unmerited favor of God. And while we are only saved by His grace and mercy, we ARE to walk in good works (Eph. 2:10, right after Eph. 2:8&9).

And someone asked if we are to obey the Bible or the traditions of men. I'll go for the Bible, evrytime!


-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 26, 2000.

I see our friend, LadyLovely, has relegated us to the archives!

I may be talking to myself, anyway. Anyone there?


Yes, obedience is preferred by God over sacrifice.


Peter was married. Paul was the one who wasn't, but he said it was better to marry than to burn. I imagine that is as true now as it was then.

Baptism was changed, also, from the early practice, which was immersion, with the visual and experiential reality of burial, as in death, and being raised to life.

Also, God wanted us to be obedient out of love for him; not to be forced by him to obey. (Free will and all that stuff.) To have different punishments imposed by a human organization wasn't exactly what He had in mind, it seems to me.

-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 26, 2000.

I'm here for a minute! Connie, thanks for your thoughts. I enjoyed reading them.

I think Christians would agree more if every individual both studied and applied the ideals/instructions in the Bible in their lives, including showing love to and sacrificing for others as a way of life, not as mere interludes in a self-centered life.

At one point, I remember that I was at a loss as to what I could do for God besides living a pure life and fulfilling my duties in life well (family, job). So I asked him during a sermon to show me whatever "good works" He had for me to do, as in Ephesians 2:10. Because, I told Him, I really couldn't think of any that were feasible where I was. Boy oh boy, did He ever answer!

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 26, 2000.

Click on "New Answers" at top of New Questions page so you never have to worry about being relegated to the archives.

-- * (*@*.*), February 26, 2000.


Did you all happen to see the 30 or so posts that 'LadyLogic' posted on the main board? It sent a lot of these threads to the archives. The Sysops were really on the ball, though, and deleted her posts quickly, and the these were back in the upper section.

Did anyone else notice that?


-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 26, 2000.


Did you all happen to see the 30 or so posts that 'LadyLogic' posted on the main board? It sent a lot of these threads to the archives. The Sysops were really on the ball, though, and deleted her posts quickly, and then these were back in the upper section.

Did anyone else notice that?


-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 26, 2000.

I'm a Catholic, and I'd like to comment on the papal infallibility idea.

First, let me say that I am not troubled that so many of my Protestant friends would disagree with the Pope. But I am troubled that so many have been erroneously taught by their churches just what the concept is.

The Catholic church believes, and has believed since the First Council of Jerusalem (referred to in the Acts of the Apostles) that when the Cardinals get together (the most recent time being the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960's) they are guided by the Holy Spirit to come to the correct conclusions and teachings. Since God cannot lie and cannot inspire His people to be in error, the teachings of these councils are said to be infallible.

What is important for non-Catholics to realize is that the Holy Spirit guides these men because of their jobs (i.e., Bishop of Rome), not because they are holier than anyone else or deserve to be inspired more than anyone else. Beware of anyone who suggests that a fellow has the job of Bishop because he is holy. Maybe yes, maybe no.

At one council about 1860 (it may have been the First Vatican Council - I'm saying this from memory, so please excuse the lack of precision), the council authorized the Pope to speak "ex cathedra" and declare to be an infallible teaching of the Roman Catholic Church a belief already widely held by Catholics, without the necessity of calling together the world's bishops.

The Catholic Church believes that the bishops at that council were divinely inspired to authorize the Pope to do so.

Since that time, the Pope has spoken ex cathedra ***only twice***. The first declared that Mary's body has already been raised into heaven by God. The second (in March 1950) declared that Mary was born without original sin.

That's it! Only two times, and never in my lifetime (I'm almost fifty).

The Catholic Church has never stated that the fellow who is Pope is never wrong, or that he is always divinely inspired.

Now I would like to bring up a second point my Protestant friends here probably are unaware of. Because of the belief that the bishops are divinely inspired when meeting as a group (as I mentioned earlier), the Catholic Church teaches that all of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are divinely inspired and thus infallible.

This teaching of infallibility has nothing to do with the men themselves. Theoretically, every one of them could be rotters on their way to hell, yet they would nevertheless be divinely inspired when voting on Council teachings. And thus those teachings are infallible.

All of this depends upon the accuracy of the belief that God inspires the bishops when they convene in council. If that belief is false, then sure, who cares what they think? The feminists attack the teaching of the Catholic Church as the views of a group of old fogie males. If that is all they are, then they (the teachings) would not deserve reverence. But because we believe the Holy Spirit's guidance to be part of an ongoing "divine intervention in history", we consider them to be infallible.

Thus, personal attacks on the Pope are irrelevant to the infallibility of the teachings of the Catholic Church.

-- GA Russell (ga.russell@usa.net), February 27, 2000.

I know it seems that I am picking on Catholicism and I don't want to, but I must say this, also: The Scriptures say that there is one mediator between God and men(people), and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Also, we SHOULD confess our sins, but we can go directly to God; we don't need to go through a priest. We ARE priests after the order of Melchisedec, all who believe in Christ. By the same token, we are all saints (set-apart ones - -sanctified) if we have accepted Christ as Savior and Lord. Also, there is the problem of idols. I know that Catholics say they are not worshipping idols when they put flowers and candles before icons, but it seems so to me.

Also, there is absolutely nothing in Scripture which says that Mary rose bodily into Heaven. Very little is said of Mary, but one thing she did say, at the wedding at Cana, was: "Whatever He says to you to do, do it." (Meaning Jesus) He even rebuked her and said that everyone who believes in Him is His mother and sister and brother.

Another area where I believe we differ is that I believe that now the Catholic church accepts evolution, whereas most Evangelical/ Fundamental Christians do not. At least not in the sense of changing from one species to another. Mutations we can accept. Where are the 'missing links' from one specie to another, after all these years of looking?

I really hate to offend anyone, but Ecclesiastes says there is a time to speak, and I've chosen this time.

Read those Bibles yourselves, Christians, so that you can find out for yourselves what God has to say to you!

-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 27, 2000.

Connie...GA Russell makes a better Catholic apologist than me...by far. Let me take a stab at your last post from a general perspective even though I could deal with each point individually. Jesus told Peter that he was building his Church on him. He also said whatever they loosed on earth will be loosed in heaven and whatever was bound on earth was bound in heaven. Then we have the 7 sacraments. Agreed...that you'll not find any chapter in the Bible that enumerates the sacraments but the way you get there is from the teachings of the Church which started with Jesus and was passed down to the apostles and Popes.

If you don't subscribe to the Church as I have feeblely described it, then nothing else makes sense and all kinds of can be said that heretical. I was thinking of something I heard once that pretty well sums up what I'm getting at....that roughly 90% of the things non Catholics say about the Catholic Church are wrong. Very few people who actually have studied what the Chuerch has said and written disagree with it. The ones who do disagree do so because they choose to disagree....free will and all that stuff. If you want to take a chance that perhaps you're wrong, try reading Pope John Paul II's "Crossing the Threshhold". I think you enjoy it.

-- Russ (aa2gs@isoc.net), February 27, 2000.

Hi, Russ,

Normally I don't express what I did above, but it seemed an appropriate time to do so.

'All we like sheep have gone astray'. We all sin . In the first five or six years after I became a Christian, I cried almost every time I realized what Christ had done for me on the Cross. An I'm not a particularly bad person, when compared to others.

But the measure of perfection is God and Christ, and THERE is where I fall short of the Glory of God.

I despise what happened at Bob Jones U., because it denotes a lack of love. The whole Gospel is bound up in two commandments: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and your neighbor as yourself". "Against such there is no law'.

We observe only two ordinances, which you call sacraments, and those are baptism and communion. We believe baptism to be a step of obedience and a public declaration of an inner change of heart. The only people who were baptized in the New Testament were adults, after believing. They were immersed in the closest body of water.

I think the main differences between what most Evangelicals believe and what Catholics believe is in regard to 'works'. We believe that we can only be saved by belief and trust in the sacrificial death of Christ (unmerited favor) for our individual sins. We believe 'the Church' to be the universal body of Christ - - all believers.

We don't believe we have to belong to a human organization to be saved. Perhaps I am wrong on what Catholics believe, but it has been my observation that there are many things you must do - - works - - to be saved. Am I wrong? Even baptism is not a requirement, or the thief on the cross would not have been promised a place in Paradise that day, as he was.

We go to an Inter-Denominational college town church and have many people from all different denominations, and I can count on two fingers discussions I have had among any church friends or from the pulpit (never) about Catholic beliefs or practices. Never any criticism. Those discussions were almost 40 years ago, but I have read and observed on my own what different Christian groups believe.

I don't want to do one of the seven things the Lord hates - - which is to cause discord among the brethren - - so I'm trying to say this in a spirit of love. I pray I have not offended you.

I do think we can discuss things and there may be many thing we disagree on, but we can still respect each others' views. I truly am seeking to find what you believe. I may not agree with you, but I will respect you.


-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 27, 2000.

S. Kohl,

Thanks for your response on my point about James 2:14-2:26 requiring works in order for one to be saved.

Your answer seemed to indicate that Abraham's faith (which was the correct type of faith) did in fact include works. But you say we're saved by grace through faith. So, I guess it's just a matter of semantics, where you have to read "faith" as including works. Do I have this right?


-- eve (eve_rebekah@yahoo.com), February 27, 2000.

That's the only conclusion I can come to with what James said, I think. The right kind of faith includes works as evidence. Because faith without works is dead.

But if you were to die at the moment of believing, without doing a single work, so long as it was the kind of faith Abraham had that would have led to serving and obeying God if you'd been left alive, then you would be saved. A person can still fall short with this kind of faith, but they won't be complacent about it or satisfied to blithely carry on with their previous ways--their heart will have changed, and that change will incrementally manifest itself in a changed life.

We legalistic, loophole-seeking humans want it to be more cut and dried than that. On one extreme we want a list of works which, if we do them, mean we're saved--meantime we can sin in any way not listed. That is what the Pharisees who killed Jesus were like.

On the other hand, we may want magic, as opposed to a relationship with God--we say some words with sincere emotions, and then we live our lives to please ourselves and keep sinning with no repentance--because the works don't save us, after all. I think that's what the group called the gnostics were like.

Bottom line: When I stand before God, I'll be on my own. There won't be any loophole just because I have a good argument to get around something He said in the Bible (like what He said in James). So I try to find out what He said, not what a theologian (no matter how much I learn from or respect that theologian) says He said. I don't want to be condemned because someone else was wrong in what they told me to believe. It won't help me to blame someone else if I turn out to be one of those who said in this life that they belonged to God, but didn't.

Matthew 25 really says it all.

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 27, 2000.

Aman, S. Kohl.

Are you in a ministry? I appreciate your informed and kind outlook; also your sense of humor and willingness to take criticism without striking back.

I appreciate Eve's sincerity and openness, also.

And Russ and G.A. Russell: Thank you for filling us in on various aspects of your church.

My criticisms are not just for Catholicism; Protestantism has also strayed from what Scripture says.

I personally cannot believe anything which I don't see in Scripture, so that is why I have some trouble accepting some positions the Catholic Church has taken.

Also, something that has not been mentioned is the fact that we have to be 'born again', and when we are, 'Behold, all things are become new.' We cannot see things which are spiritually discerned if we are not born of the spirit; born into God's family.

As for Peter's being the rock upon which the church is built, have you ever investigated the meanings of the words used there? Jesus said, "Thou art Peter,( a small, rolling stone) and upon this rock (a large immovable stone - - two different words in the Greek - - meaning himself, Jesus, the Rock of Ages) I will build my church.

I studied a year of Greek, and my son teaches Greek and Latin at a large midwestern university (I won't name it and embarrass him).

As for cardinals, when did they come into the workings of the hierarchy? In New Testament times, there were bishops, pastors, presbyters, priests and shepherds, evangelists, and teachers but I don't recall cardinals.

Historically, the heirarchy came into existence around 300 A.D., did it not? All Christians feel an identity with the early councils, not just Roman Catholics.

I would be interested in hearing from you again on this matter.

-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 28, 2000.

Connie...Just wanted to make sure you knew there is no offense taken here. I freely got involved in this thread with the idea that perhaps I could shed a little light without generating too much heat. I'm over 50 years old and still learning about my Church. Let's both pray that the Holy Spirit leads us in the right direction. We have to remember that there are "unseen" forces out there that don't want you or me to ever see our Lord's face in Heaven. It's difficult to know who's preachin the truth. One admonition that is good to follow is to check out their fruits..."by the fruit you will know them"...or something like that. Oh....and by the way....watch out for those theologians.

-- Russ (aa2gs@isoc.net), February 28, 2000.

Connie wrote: "Are you in a ministry? I appreciate your informed and kind outlook; also your sense of humor and willingness to take criticism without striking back."

Thank you for the compliment, Connie! It isn't so hard to take criticism or insults over the Internet (though I don't actually enjoy it). I also have time to think about what I'm saying in return before sending it. It's harder face-to-face, believe me, or with someone you're close to. Yet Jesus said we're to love our enemies--if I can't take mere criticism/insults kindly, how will I love someone who actually persecutes me or my kids? That latter situation is one of the areas that I feel I fall short in.

No, I'm not in a ministry, other than what any layperson is in. I do help out at church in several capacities, but since it is a small church, it's sometimes a matter of "Who can we find to do this? If no one, we'll have to cancel it." I could probably be a pretty carnal Christian, and they'd let me do it anyway. Maybe that's why God put me here. I'm not sure I'd be that useful in a larger church that could be pickier about me agreeing with every position they took.

I do have a brother in the ministry (and currently in seminary as well), and so I have some idea of what goes on both in seminary and in church leadership. This brother was a violent and hurting (in both transitive and intransitive sense--ha ha) juvenile delinquent on his way to jail until he became a Christian right after high school. So he's got quite a testimony, and the change in his life is earth-shaking.

I became a Christian when I was 4, and have been faithful since without a break (did/do have my ups and downs, though), except that I did get taken in by false Christians a couple times during my highschool years. It's really a matter of where God wants to use a person, and I see that He put me in the right spot, where I'd be most useful (and grow the most), given my understanding/maturity/personality.

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 28, 2000.

I'm going to spell it correctly this time: Amen!!

Russ and S. Kohl:

Yes, we all should have a ministry, both in our churches and in the world! It is difficult to witness face-to-face, as you say.

Russ, you also have a wonderful spirit and the Scriptures say to all of us: 'If you seek God with your whole heart, you will find Him'. I have SO MUCH to still learn, and I am learning every day.

Presently, I am interested in End-Time prophecy and I have referred many times to a book by Charles Miller, which is SO appropriate for our times:


The author of that book needs our prayers, because he just had a kidney and large malignancy removed and is having complications which may require more surgery.

The title of his book is: 'Technology in Prophecy', but you don't have to buy his book to get the information; it just helps bring it all together. The lessons are free on the Internet at that site. He considers that information to be his life's ministry.

It addresses many of the inventions of the twentieth century, and is extremely interesting, in addition to being informative, and all based on the Scriptures.

This is a very interesting thread, and I hope some of the earlier posters come back.

-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 28, 2000.

S. Kohl,

Thanks for your response.

Do you agree, then, with the following:

Therefore (according to your response), the Protestants as well as the Catholics, agree on the fact that you must do good works to be saved, the major difference being that the Catholics have a somewhat different and more specific list of them.

To all,

I see (Christian) faith as a work as well, because it's something you have to do to be saved; you have to take an action. Do you agree?

-- eve (eve_rebekah@yahoo.com), February 28, 2000.

Eve, on some of these issues, I feel most comfortable defining what I think is the truth by showing the extremes that are not true. Salvation by works is one extreme, and cheap grace is another.

In any case, I would say it a little differently than you did. Instead of "...you must do good works to be saved...", I would say that "If you are saved, you WILL do good works," or "Good works are a sign of being saved."

Yet someone could do good works, and not be saved (they're still not "good enough" without Christ paying their penalty). And if someone does no good works/has no fruit, they're not saved. The problem with that last thing is that, as in the parable of tares and wheat, it might not be immediately obvious to an observer whether someone is merely an immature "wheat" plant, or a "tare." It is clear that immaturity is a very dangerous state to get stuck in (Hebrews 6).

Eve wrote: "I see (Christian) faith as a work as well, because it's something you have to do to be saved; you have to take an action. Do you agree?"

This gets into some predestination/free-will debate issues too--a real can of worms. But leaving that can unopened, I do agree that you have to take an action, with your heart/will/mind, to be reconciled to God. You have to choose to put your faith in Jesus, and throw in your lot with him. And how else would you know when you became a Christian?

But I don't know if I like calling that action a "work that saves us", because it is not sufficient--God saves us when we meet His condition of believing in Christ, and repenting of our enmity with Him, out of mercy and love, not because He has to, and not because by choosing to follow Christ, we somehow suddenly deserve salvation. But He did promise, and because He is faithful, what He said He would do, He will do.

Another issue for me is this: I don't know that human beings are tough enough to resist the Devil's attacks. Everyone has a weak spot. Therefore I pray upon occasion that God will kill me before I ever turn away from Him (that's how strongly I feel), because I suspect that I am not strong enough to be faithful under every circumstance without His help. If He wants me to stay alive, then I ask Him to bolster me enough to make it through faithfully.

Therefore, just as I rely on God to show me mercy because Jesus knows me on Judgement Day, I also rely on God to keep me faithful in this life, when my utmost effort fails, as it eventually would if I were left to myself.

That's the sense in which it's not really my work, even in my step of faith, that leads to my salvation after this life is over. (This probably just confuses the issue...if so I can try again after thinking of a better way to say it.)

I wouldn't say I understand how or why salvation is possible, and I certainly can't dissect all the steps involved, spiritually. I just know I have accepted Jesus' substitution for me, and I know that those who don't love others, don't know God, no matter what they say.

But because maturing/growing in faith is a process, I don't feel all that confident about correctly identifying someone's heart based on a snap-shot in time (I can only confidently identify someone who is at least "immature" in their faith). Being human, I nevertheless tend to have some opinion on the matter, when I know someone well enough. Good thing it's not up to me, because my judgement is flawed and my knowledge limited, and I don't see the heart, only the outer appearance.

In the end, it is simpler to just say that either a person is God's friend, and reconciled to Him, or a person is His enemy, and not reconciled to Him. God provided the means of reconciliation, and explained as much as we need to know about it in order to do it, or not. And we can sometimes fool others and ourselves, but not God.

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 28, 2000.

Hi, Eve,

My beliefs are from reading Scripture, not from the teachings of a church - - I didn't go to a church for quite awhile after becoming a Christian - - but I had a 'nervous breakdown' after the birth of a third child in 3 1/2 years, and started reading the Bible on my own.

This reminds me of something S. Kohl said above: you won't be alone before God at the Judgment Seat - -Christ will be with you as your lawyer and advocate.

But to get back to 'faith' vs. 'works': only faith in Christ can save us from our sins, but His intention is for us to do good works.

Some verses are 'Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy we are saved'; (I think that is Titus 3:5), and of course the earlier quoted Ephesians 2: 8&9.

In fact, by themselves, our 'righteousnesses are as filthy rags' as the scriptures state. They will not get us into Heaven. We have to be 'in the vine' - - Christ, and behaving in a Godly way because we are grafted in.

The good works will NOT save us, but will be judged by others - - they will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. "You will know them by their fruits'.

I already knew quite a bit of what the New testament said before attending a church, so in choosing one, I could weigh it against what I knew from Scripture.

I find that denominations can make and perpetuate error to adhere to their prior traditions, and I wanted to avoid that. For example, in my denomination, which was Baptist, children go through an instruction program and then are baptized at around age 12, whether they have been 'born again' or not. Only people who had accepted Christ's atoning work on the cross were baptized in the N.T. and they were all adults.

All I can say to anyone who is searching for God is to go to the loveletter He wrote, because He really wants to communicate with you.

Another verse in Scriptures is that'If you seek Him with your whole heart , he will reveal Himself to you.

Our God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and David - - and Jeshua ha meshia (sp.?) I know I spelled that incorrectly, 'cause I haven't had Hebrew! (Wish I had!)

-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 28, 2000.

"This reminds me of something S. Kohl said above: you won't be alone before God at the Judgment Seat - -Christ will be with you as your lawyer and advocate."

I mean by "alone" partly that no human being will be able to intercede, or to take the blame if they led you the wrong way. Plus I'm thinking of the time spoken of in Matt 7:21-23 and Matt 25:31, where I'll be standing before Jesus to see if he knows me or not.

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 28, 2000.

And the God of Jacob, too! ;-) ;-)

S. Kohl:

Are you sure your calling is not the Ministry?

As for Satan being powerful, that is true. Also attractive, intelligent, and informed. But 'The power that is in you is stronger than the power that is in the world'. (Satan) There are times when I have to order him out of my house and out of my life, in the name of Jesus.

Even Jesus said 'Get thee behind me, Satan' - - he said that to Peter, by the way.

We humans don't really deserve to be saved, but out of His mercy, He saved us. This is the free gift God has offered, and I don't believe accepting Him is a 'work' - - it is an act of faith, without which it is impossible to plaes Him. As with any gift, one has to accept it for it to be one's own.

Hope I'm not 'pontificating' too much, here. And we must remember that pride was the sin Lucifer was guilty of - - the biggest sin. And as someone above mentioned, it is one we need to be on constant guard against.

-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 28, 2000.

One thought that occured to me that I think I should mention....Would the Devil or Satan bother tempting someone who is already saved? What would be the point?

Something else...I agree with Connie that we're in a very challenging period in time. Evil is taught as good and good is taught as evil. Lots of examples. I have nothing more than a hunch that times will get worse and people will start crying out to the Lord. I believe we all will have ample opportunity to reach out to someone who feels like their drowning (spiritually speaking).

-- Russ (aa2gs@isoc.net), February 28, 2000.

.....It appears there is some degree of question regarding whether I would return to the original thread, but on Friday I had serious provider troubles and was frustrated at not being able to post my reply. My business had me out of town over the weekend, so this is the earliest opportunity Ive had to return.


.....I know it; but where were you when Alice made a very rude remark? If you wish to be the remark monitor, Maggie, youll have to be more consistent.


.....Im truely at a loss as what you really expected out of an evenings worth of posting. Surely you werent looking for me to expound upon my entire belief system, complete with persuasive argument while providing full documentation. Im quite aware that people are spiritually starved today, but lets get real here... Also, in my personal experience, Ive found that most people dont have the foundational knowledge to fully understand the assertions I make when it comes to these discussions, so I find that I have to choose my words carefully. Wouldnt it be nice if we would all afford our fellow man such consideration? There is, as well, a Scriptural admonishment to not cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot and use them to rend you assunder... I have to be careful that youre not one to squeal so to speak, (the jury is still out on this one). Heres a novel thought; why not, instead of relying on this worthless man, (whos a complete stranger to you), or any other for that matter, you pick up the book and see for yourself whats in there? Ive found that thats all that is truly effective.

.....Im aware as well how my midol comment sounded, but for you to come out of left field and savage me with your self-admitted rudeness, when I wasnt even aware of your existence in the conversation was completely uncalled for. If you weren't pre- menstrual in this instance, you've missed a heckuva chance. If you have a specific question of me, feel free to ask.

.....Ive posted to the original thread, as promised, and it was in response to S. Kohl. Im not exactly sure why another thread was necessary, but thats neither here nor there. My initial comments were there, and it wasnt really a long thread yet, so I wanted to stay there. If you wish to take issue with me on any of what I said, Ill be happy to respond; but if you cannot elevate the tenor of your words, dont be surprised if you find yourself ignored by me.

.....I have yet to read this entire thread, so dont know if Ill be commenting further here, it seems to be a rather fast-paced discussion, and my provider kept me from seeing it until today. Would that I had the time available to spend on the board that I wished.

-- Patrick (pmchenry@gradall.com), February 28, 2000.


The Scriptures say that: 'Satan walks about the earth seeking whom he may devour', and I always add: 'And Christians are his tastiest morsels.' Christians who are outside of God's will are among Satan's handiest tools in preventing others from becoming Christians, so he particularly enjoys tempting us, - no! - not just tempting us, but making us stumble and fall.

This makes evident the differences between God and Satan: God wants to communicate with us, love us, and help us, and Satan wants to digest us.

S. Kohl:

What is this original thread referred to a couple of times? Where in the archives is it?

Thank you.

-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 28, 2000.


.....The original thread is here...


-- Patrick (pmchenry@gradall.com), February 28, 2000.

Thank you. I looked through the archives and found it under the Awareness/General heading.

But I must say, Patrick: "Wow!"

I want to be VERY careful of what I say, 'cause, like S. Kohl, I can 'take' flaming, but I don't really enjoy it.

I want to think the best of every person, so I'm assuming you 'refrain from gathering together, as is the habit of some', because you were disappointed in some aspect of gathering together. "Refrain not from gathering together, as is the habit of some".

I don't want to think the worst, which could include any number of different reasons, including that you not only think you know more than others do, but that you really DO know more than others do, and can't abide their ignorance and stupidity.

The only thing I can think of in response is this:

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and even of angels, but have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love envies not; love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up,

Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, takes no account of evil;

Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

Bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face-to-face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as I also am known.

And now abides faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

I Corinthians 13: 1 -13

-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 29, 2000.

S. Kohl,

Thanks for your thoughtful response.

You said, "If you are saved, you will do good works," or "Good works are a sign of being saved."

This sounds like a predestinarian position. Do you believe in predestination? (Yep -- I'm opening up that "can of worms," -- but you mentioned it first! :))

If it's not a predestinarian position, it seems as if the person who is saved will do good works automatically. But I don't understand this, as, saved or not, we have to think to do works -- don't we?

Hi Connie,

Thanks for your interesting reply. It's very laudable that you're trying to figure out the Scriptures for yourself.

It seems that you believe in salvation based on faith alone. Is your belief different from S. Kohl's, then? He/She believes that good works is part of a saving faith.

Messiah transliterated from the Hebrew would be "Mashiah" with long first "a" and long "i". But this pronunciation is a guess, as ancient Hebrew used no vowels. Also, I believe it would be "Mashiah Yeshua," with the Mashiah coming first. I know very little Hebrew, anyway; perhaps someone could add something here. And, Connie, I hope you've fully recovered from your problem you mentioned.

S. Kohl and Connie,

I'd love to respond to many of the other fascinating issues you've brought up, but alas -- there are only so many hours in the day...

Maybe soon.

Hi Patrick,

Can you help Connie out with the Hebrew? Did I do ok?

-- eve (eve_rebekah@yahoo.com), February 29, 2000.

Hi, Eve:

Thanks for your transliteration.

RE: Predestination:

Romans 8: 28 - 30

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.

For whom He did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the Firstborn among many brethren.

Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them he also glorified.

Ephesians 1: 4 - 7

According as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love;

Having predestinated (foreordained) us unto the adoption of children by Christ jesus to himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

To the praise of glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved.

In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

This may seem incompatible to reason, but faith and works are intertwined inexplicably. But only faith in Christ's atoning death can save us; but then without works, people can assume that we are not saved, even though they may be wrong. We might be immature Christians, or even carnal or disobedient. There used to be a question asked: if you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

Only God can judge the reality of a given situation. If Christians do the things God has forbidden, other Christians are not even supposed to eat with them until they confess and repent (according to Scripture, not my opinon nor a teaching of my church).

God wanted to keep the church from becoming like the world; some churches qualify; some don't.

Now, out of curiosity, what problem that I mentioned that you referred to do you mean? The loss of memory, perhaps? ;-) ;-)

-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 29, 2000.

Hi Connie,

Thanks for your reply. Your post looks very interesting; but I just had time enough to skim it for now. I do recall studying the passage in Romans a while back. I'll try to get back to you in a day or so.

The reason I'm posting now, though, is to let you know what problem I was referring to. I'm sorry, I guess I could have been more explicit, but it was kind of tough to say, "nervous breakdown." I wanted to say something that would get the message across to you, but without having to "advertise" it. You had mentioned it in your prior post to me.

See ya...

-- eve (eve_rebekah@yahoo.com), February 29, 2000.

Patrick, I have responded to you on the original thread as that apparently is where you wish to commit your postings.

-- Alice (Looking@glass.com), February 29, 2000.


.....I saw your post and will be around shortly, (provider providing). :o)

-- Patrick (pmchenry@gradall.com), February 29, 2000.

Ah, Yes, Eve!

Yes, that happened 41 years ago, now, and it was the best thing (and also the most painful) thing which ever happened to me. It was post- partum psychosis, or exaggerated 'baby blues'. I had three children in 3 1/2 years and the oldest was a true hyperactive child. He almost never slept, and was INTO EVERYTHING. I was a perfectionist, and my doctor, probably one of the few Christian psychiatrists in existence at the time, said I'd have to choose between my house and my health.

Also, I had worked at the 'phone company (Bell Tel) in the Engineering Department and could remember a 'phone # after dialing it once. (Before I quit to have my children.) My doctor said to forget all that stuff (after all, that's what a telephone directory is for).

His prescription sheets were covered with Bible verses. He had seminars for his patients and their 'spice' (spouses) on Sunday afternoons. My husband became a Christian out of his 'ministry'.

We were VERY much into the 'rising young executive family' routine.

God intervened and as they say: "The rest is history".

I've been O.K. for many years (at least, I think I'm O.K. - - but of course the mentally ill are the last to know!

No, I reared my family, including two more children and ran a business for 23 years.

I hope your search is fruitful. You can't go wrong if you just stick to the Scriptures and eventually find a fellowship where you can be 'edified' - - built up in the faith. I figure we walk out the church doors to serve. (Do good works)

You will not find a perfect congregation, as long as it is made up of human beings. One thing we never did was to have 'roast Pastor' for Sunday dinner. We are to pray for our leaders and help them when we can.

In Christ

I couldn't send this the first time I tried, so I hope I'm not posting it twice. That happened when I tried to retrieve one above, because I noticed a misspelled word. This time it just wouldn't go out of my 'Outbox', so far.

-- Connie (hive@gte.net), February 29, 2000.

Eve wrote: "This sounds like a predestinarian position. Do you believe in predestination? (Yep -- I'm opening up that "can of worms,"--but you mentioned it first! :))" "If it's not a predestinarian position, it seems as if the person who is saved will do good works automatically. But I don't understand this, as, saved or not, we have to think to do works -- don't we?"

Not that can of worms...please, no!!! JK (Partly anyway...)

Predestination vs. Free-will: This is one example of the things in scripture that I find confusing. But none of the explanations I've heard/read really satisfy me, and although, of course, I've come up with one for myself (I can't help it), it may or may not match reality, or satisfy someone else...or me :(.

Here we go: I believe in predestination AND free will as I explain it below (But not in the committed way I believe Jesus died for my sins).

I explain the apparent contradiction by thinking that these are two views of the same thing (Whatever that thing really is--and what IS "the ability to choose," anyway? How can it exist rationally?).

God is outside of time (He is the great I AM), yet He interacts with us sequentially within time (And how can someone exist before "the beginning," anyway? How can there be a TRUE beginning? Everything always has something that came/happened before it! Except God.).

Examples: He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and yet He changed his mind about destroying the children of Israel, because Moses asked Him to. Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world, and yet he was slain about 2000 years ago, having "not yet been the final sacrifice" before that, and having "been the final sacrifice after which no other is needed" after that. Everyone before Christ was looking forward, and everyone after is looking back.

It's just a matter of point of view--are you looking at it only from "within time," or from a perspective "outside of time" (which I think only God has) as well as from "within time"?

I think that there is only one being who is outside of time in this way, and can therefore understand it. Because of His nature, God "knows the end from the beginning." He doesn't just do like we do, and "predict" with varying amounts of certainty, He "knows."

We don't actually KNOW anything but the present (at least our subjective experience of it), and perhaps some of the past (our memory of it, anyway--have you heard of Versed?), in any way. Except for what God has told us, we know NOTHING of the future.

If I drop a pen, I KNOW that it will fall straight down and hit the ground. But what if I dropped the pen one time, and a ball that happened to be thrown by my three-year-old at the right time surprised me by colliding with the pen and knocking it onto a stool? Or what if a meteor suddenly crashed through the roof at an angle and deflected the pen to the side?

Well, obviously nothing strange happened, either way--effect followed cause as always. But I can see that where I initially said I "KNOW", really I was only "predicting." Everything we predict, no matter how reliable our prediction, is just a prediction. We don't "KNOW" even an instant into the future, and never will, on our own. You have to have all knowledge (every factor) to do that--you have to be able to observe what is in time from outside of time. Like looking at a river from a helicopter--you see it all at once.

The reason I think that only God can do this is that He Himself uses it as a litmus test for whether one is God or not (Isaiah 41:23).

Anyway, now that I've confused everyone/anyone reading this to the point of no return (I'm sorry, if so...blame Eve!!!), here's some more.

Predestination is "what God knows" from His position "outside of time." You could say, also, that God is not only the first cause, but the only cause, in a way. Because by creating everything in the first place, you could say that God "caused" everything, both good and evil. He also created all of those people who will eventually die, having persisted in rejecting salvation. So He created them "a vessel for dishonor." And vice versa. (Q: WHY??? A: Who are we to question God?)

However, that explanation must not match reality completely as is (that God caused everything unilaterally), because (and I'm not going to quote word-for-word accurately, probably, but I can look them up later if you want to check these) "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." Not to mention that "He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." And "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God." Everyone is tempted in essence by his own evil lusts from inside (Q: But WHO made the man that way? A: Who are we to question and assign blame?).

So what I say, as a possibility, is that God created man with the ability to choose--to originate "a cause without a cause," through his choices. The choice is the "first cause" for whatever chain of events follows the choice. I don't understand how there can be "choice" rationally. But without true choice, there is no true responsibility. One thing I know beyond a shadow of doubt is that I am responsible for my choices, and that I make choices.

Calvinists (from what I understand) believe that before the Fall, mankind did have the ability to choose freely, but that man has lost that ability, and now can only choose evil (There is none righteous, no not one, no one seeks what is good, etc.) now. In that case, only Adam and Eve are really responsible for our sin, I would think.

But what about this: Adam and Eve were totally good, with no fallen nature at all--yet they chose to sin. Lucifer was the brightest and best of the angels, until sin was found in him. So they could freely choose to sin, with no evil nature propelling them. I think that nothing has changed in that regard, in the reverse. We are fallen, but we choose to do what we know is wrong freely, just as they, being unfallen, chose to do what they knew was wrong, freely.

Our ability to know right from wrong is certainly impaired, but we don't choose what is right 100% of the time even when we do realize what is right--no one even lives up to his own standards, whatever they may be. Even though that is our natural bent now, because it is a true choice that we make when we sin, we are all individually responsible for our sin (For all have sinned).

Calvinists (my brother in seminary and most of my family among them) also have an analogy that goes something like this: God is in a boat on a river. Sinful men are drowning in the river. God offers them the chance to come into the boat. He throws them a buoy. No one wants it. So God reaches in, grabs someone, and pulls them to safety. They have no say. Others, God allows to continue drowning. It is their own fault, since they rejected His offer.

That whole position negates the meaning of verses like the one saying that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (and I prefer an explanation that doesn't require redefining words like "all" and "any", that have a clear meaning and usage normally, so I like mine, where I just define "predestination" from a different perspective).

The Calvinist position also flies in the face of the fact that I know I make choices, both evil and good. No one makes me do it. And I see people who have generous impulses or sacrifice for others who are not saved. They are choosing good--it's just not enough to appear before God in perfection, because they all also sometimes choose evil.

In the end, I won't be ashamed in the slightest (though I might feel sheepish in discussions with my brother in heaven) if I find out Calvinists are right and I am wrong. I will feel ashamed, on the other hand, because of the good I saw to do, but didn't, because of the out-of-balance priorities I sometimes have (selfishness), and for my attitude at times.

So "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" might have an answer, that I might even know one day, but in the meantime, I'm going to try to copy Christ's life and do what he said to do, as best I can, with God's help. My course of action is clear.

-- S. Kohl (kohl@hcpd.com), February 29, 2000.


.....You did fine with the terms, no help needed.

-- Patrick (pmchenry@gradall.com), February 29, 2000.

"But I must say, Patrick: "Wow!"

I want to be VERY careful of what I say, 'cause, like S. Kohl, I can 'take' flaming, but I don't really enjoy it."


.....You can say whatever you wish to me, as by now, I'm completely aware that you maintain civilty in all of your words. You have no reason to fear "flames" from me. On a personal note to you, I have read your posts on a number of topics... while at first, I admit to wondering if you weren't among the typical attitudes within Christianity, I have to say that you have indeed garnered much respect from my corner; so please, feel free to say or ask anything you wish. I have yet to "flame" anyone that hasn't delivered the first shot, so to speak. I take no pleasure in railing against the "church" as I do, but someone needs to, in my opinion, (stand in the gaps, make up the hedge?). I know that I'll take heat for my stance, yet I speak just the same. It has never been my intent to sound hateful or overly harsh, it just comes out that way in print at times.

.....Also, please be assured that I am not void of love, as that seems to be the gist of your response to me above. I'm fully aware of the verses you've sited, and I do strive in my walk to achieve the compassion that I may lack. One final comment... "to increase knowledge is to increase sorrow," and as my knowledge has increased over the years, I have had my heart rended by that which I have seen around me. The very reason that I come against the "church" as strongly as I do is because I see first hand what the Scripture says is being done to mankind, particularly deceived Christianity; and it is done by this "church" structure. They are my brethren, and I do love them; but they are deceived and they won't come out. That is what repentence is all about. God help us all...

-- Patrick (pmchenry@gradall.com), February 29, 2000.

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