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What Is Correct Christian Faith?


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#1    StarMountainKid

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 08:09 PM

Until fairly recently, in Christendom at least, those of us who participate in many of these forums here at UM would be hunted down, arrested and possibly executed by the Christian Church for heresy. (I’m using ‘Christian Church’ as a general term for established official Christian authority.) `

Because of the spread of secularism, the Christian Church has had to back away from the strict enforcement of Christian dogma. In my view, strict fundamentalism is true Christianity. The watered down version that exists today and the Christian apologists are not representative of the true faith.

What kind of society would we have if we lived in a religious society tuled by the Church, as existed in the Middle Ages, for instance? Would most Christians accept a new Inquisition as a right and proper enforcement of Christian dogma?

Are liberal Christians following the true faith? Is not the correct belief of Christianity a very conservative, literal belief?

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#2    Otto von Pickelhaube

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 08:20 PM

I'd say the real fundamentalist version of Christianity would be one that concentrated solely on what Jesus (is quoted as) saying and teaching, which takes the old testament material as background, important for understanding Jesus and the significance of what he said & did, but which doesn't insist that it must be followed to the letter as much as if not more than what Jesus said. And similarly for the thoughts of people like Paul and Augustine; important to help with understanding of Jesus and his meaning, but not to be taken as (as it often seems to) even more important than Jesus himself.

If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.

- Philip K. Dick.


#3    and then

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 08:22 PM

View PostStarMountainKid, on 22 May 2014 - 08:09 PM, said:

Until fairly recently, in Christendom at least, those of us who participate in many of these forums here at UM would be hunted down, arrested and possibly executed by the Christian Church for heresy. (I’m using ‘Christian Church’ as a general term for established official Christian authority.) `

Because of the spread of secularism, the Christian Church has had to back away from the strict enforcement of Christian dogma. In my view, strict fundamentalism is true Christianity. The watered down version that exists today and the Christian apologists are not representative of the true faith.

What kind of society would we have if we lived in a religious society tuled by the Church, as existed in the Middle Ages, for instance? Would most Christians accept a new Inquisition as a right and proper enforcement of Christian dogma?

Are liberal Christians following the true faith? Is not the correct belief of Christianity a very conservative, literal belief?
The first mistake most people make about Christianity is to believe it is somehow tied to "religion" or that it is solely represented by the RCC.  Christians are as diverse as any other group and "correct belief" is not possible to quantify.  The truth for me is that to be a Christian means to pattern one's life after Christ's.  He said himself that many would say to him when he returns with his rewards and punishments that they had done much in his name and he will tell them to depart - that he never knew them.  
Those who keep his commandments (as best humanly possible) and more importantly -have faith that his sacrifice is sufficient to save us - are Christians.  Anyone who believes that advanced knowledge, piety, works for the good of mankind and so on, are what will save them - are lost before they even begin.  ALL those things are good and when done within the proper mindset are worthy of reward but to depend on them as what actually SAVES is wrong.  In short, to be a Christian is nothing more or less than being a human being with all the faults and problems as any other but believing that Christ was born a man, was executed for our misdeeds,was buried and rose again to life(physically) on the third day according to what was foretold in scripture.  That is the gospel.  All the rest is man made revisionism that gets in the way of real faith -IMO.  Christians are no better or worse than any other group of people.  They just make better targets because by their nature they rarely fight back.  We have someone who will do that for us one day :)

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#4    Jor-el

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 08:34 PM

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Personally, as a fundamentalist Christian (according to the beliefs I hold and how they are perceived in society) I am not in favour of church rule in society, for the simple reason that it is not biblical. It is not the prerogative of the church to enforce rules that are not willingly adhered to by its members.

While we within the church may hold theological positions that are in many cases not accepted by society, we have no right to enforce our perceptions by force of law on the rest of humanity. Conversely, we should also be given absolute right to bring people to our point of view without it being frowned upon by society either.

Secular rule is essential to holding every disparate view in balance where people can discuss and argue about different positions but ultimately letting the individual decide their own course of action for which they should then be personally responsible and held to account.

When the church ruled in place of secular government, it attracted a lot of people who had no business holding positions of authority within the church and were only there because that was the way to power and influence over society at the time. This distorted the church and brought the most unsavory and immoral characters to power within the church, much as it happens within secular governments today. The difference is that the church has no checks and balances against abuse of power, where secular government does have them.

Personally the only time that the church should and will have authority is when Jesus himself is personally and physically on the throne of David in Jerusalem. There is no better ruler than God himself, humans on the other hand are not only fallible but can also be bought.

Edited by Jor-el, 22 May 2014 - 08:37 PM.

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#5    and then

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 04:32 AM

View PostJor-el, on 22 May 2014 - 08:34 PM, said:

Personally, as a fundamentalist Christian (according to the beliefs I hold and how they are perceived in society) I am not in favour of church rule in society, for the simple reason that it is not biblical. It is not the prerogative of the church to enforce rules that are not willingly adhered to by its members.

While we within the church may hold theological positions that are in many cases not accepted by society, we have no right to enforce our perceptions by force of law on the rest of humanity. Conversely, we should also be given absolute right to bring people to our point of view without it being frowned upon by society either.

Secular rule is essential to holding every disparate view in balance where people can discuss and argue about different positions but ultimately letting the individual decide their own course of action for which they should then be personally responsible and held to account.

When the church ruled in place of secular government, it attracted a lot of people who had no business holding positions of authority within the church and were only there because that was the way to power and influence over society at the time. This distorted the church and brought the most unsavory and immoral characters to power within the church, much as it happens within secular governments today. The difference is that the church has no checks and balances against abuse of power, where secular government does have them.

Personally the only time that the church should and will have authority is when Jesus himself is personally and physically on the throne of David in Jerusalem. There is no better ruler than God himself, humans on the other hand are not only fallible but can also be bought.
VERY well said!

  We've cast the world, we've set the stage,
  for what could be, the darkest age...
“This is like playing poker with a guy who cheated you twice before. You know who does that, a moron.

#6    hellig heilige

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 10:52 AM



Matthew 5:20   
"For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven".

#7    docyabut2

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 11:20 AM

I think todays people have a better concept of what the true church of christany is, a church within, and not all that Christian dogma of past  priests and their ever changing  laws.

Matthew 6
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.


But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly


#8    JJ50

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 11:23 AM

As there is no evidence that any religion has the 'truth' of the matter. All religions and doctrines, dogmas, cults and sects within religions, could be said to be as right or wrong as any other, imo.

“The wise recognise their failings and laugh at their idiosyncrasies” RJG



#9    Frank Merton

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 11:33 AM

We each have to choose our own course.  It is trite but it needs to be remembered that no one can choose for us but ourselves what to hold true and how to act.

I prefer reason over faith, compassion over revenge, opinion over belief, science over superstition.


#10    Bluefinger

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 01:17 PM

View PostStarMountainKid, on 22 May 2014 - 08:09 PM, said:

Until fairly recently, in Christendom at least, those of us who participate in many of these forums here at UM would be hunted down, arrested and possibly executed by the Christian Church for heresy. (I’m using ‘Christian Church’ as a general term for established official Christian authority.) `

Because of the spread of secularism, the Christian Church has had to back away from the strict enforcement of Christian dogma. In my view, strict fundamentalism is true Christianity. The watered down version that exists today and the Christian apologists are not representative of the true faith.

What kind of society would we have if we lived in a religious society tuled by the Church, as existed in the Middle Ages, for instance? Would most Christians accept a new Inquisition as a right and proper enforcement of Christian dogma?

I don't think that is a fair question.  Medieval Church is nothing like the Church presented in the book of Acts, the original Church.  Furthermore, the Medieval Church was composed primarily of Germanic people from Germanic background while the Church in the book of Acts was composed primarily of Hebrews from Jewish background and Romans from Greek and Latin backgrounds.  Culture plays a very influential role in how the Gospel is both received and presented.  It also plays a significant role in the actions and attitudes of the Church.

So to say that the Church is largely fundamentalist is very incorrect.  The earliest Church was hunted down, arrested, and executed by the cultures around them, primarily Jewish and Roman.  In the midst of all that, they had everything in common and love thrived among them.  The Medieval Church and the original Church have very little in common.

Quote

Are liberal Christians following the true faith? Is not the correct belief of Christianity a very conservative, literal belief?

Not necessarily and no.  Someone isn't correct simply because they are liberal.  It may just mean that they follow a different path.  I had a very long discussion with my best friend last night.  He is a very liberal Christian.  If it wasn't for his Christian roots, he wouldn't even be called a Christian.  He argued that all the religions and all the denominations are just different paths to the one way.  Although I do no agree with him, he makes a good point about Christianity itself.  

Toward the turn of the second century, Christianity found itself divided among three different cultures:  Jewish, Roman, and Greek.  Each culture had its own take on the theology, which influenced which path they took to Christ and Church regulation.  Only after the fifth century did Germanic tribes begin to play a significant role in the Church.  

The liberal Church of today is composed primarily of Germanic peoples as well as the conservative Church.  In the East, it is composed primarily of Arabs and Oriental peoples.  It isn't cut and dry and being liberal does not equate with being right.  It may just be a different path to the same way.

It is not enough to have a good mind.  The main thing is to use it well.     - Descartes

#11    Rafterman

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 01:49 PM

View PostStarMountainKid, on 22 May 2014 - 08:09 PM, said:

Until fairly recently, in Christendom at least, those of us who participate in many of these forums here at UM would be hunted down, arrested and possibly executed by the Christian Church for heresy. (I’m using ‘Christian Church’ as a general term for established official Christian authority.) `

Because of the spread of secularism, the Christian Church has had to back away from the strict enforcement of Christian dogma. In my view, strict fundamentalism is true Christianity. The watered down version that exists today and the Christian apologists are not representative of the true faith.

What kind of society would we have if we lived in a religious society tuled by the Church, as existed in the Middle Ages, for instance? Would most Christians accept a new Inquisition as a right and proper enforcement of Christian dogma?

Are liberal Christians following the true faith? Is not the correct belief of Christianity a very conservative, literal belief?

Pretty simple to see what it would look like - just look at the most fundamentalist Muslim countries and switch out Allah for God/Jesus.

"For me, it is better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
                                                                                                                                           - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World:  Science as a Candle in the Dark

#12    Rafterman

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 01:51 PM

View PostJor-el, on 22 May 2014 - 08:34 PM, said:

Personally, as a fundamentalist Christian (according to the beliefs I hold and how they are perceived in society) I am not in favour of church rule in society, for the simple reason that it is not biblical. It is not the prerogative of the church to enforce rules that are not willingly adhered to by its members.

While we within the church may hold theological positions that are in many cases not accepted by society, we have no right to enforce our perceptions by force of law on the rest of humanity. Conversely, we should also be given absolute right to bring people to our point of view without it being frowned upon by society either.

Secular rule is essential to holding every disparate view in balance where people can discuss and argue about different positions but ultimately letting the individual decide their own course of action for which they should then be personally responsible and held to account.

When the church ruled in place of secular government, it attracted a lot of people who had no business holding positions of authority within the church and were only there because that was the way to power and influence over society at the time. This distorted the church and brought the most unsavory and immoral characters to power within the church, much as it happens within secular governments today. The difference is that the church has no checks and balances against abuse of power, where secular government does have them.

Personally the only time that the church should and will have authority is when Jesus himself is personally and physically on the throne of David in Jerusalem. There is no better ruler than God himself, humans on the other hand are not only fallible but can also be bought.

Too bad most Christian politicians (at least in the US) don't hold to your position.

"For me, it is better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
                                                                                                                                           - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World:  Science as a Candle in the Dark

#13    Jor-el

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 05:15 PM

View PostRafterman, on 23 May 2014 - 01:51 PM, said:

Too bad most Christian politicians (at least in the US) don't hold to your position.

The problem is not that they are christians, but rather that they are politicians :)

But then again, christians are also part of society and as such also have a responsability to defend their views within the political arena, but that is totally different from the church officially ruling said society.

What they cannot and should not do is unbalance secular law in their favour.

Maybe an example here is in order. Should a christian politician campaign to ban homossexual marriage? In my opinion no, because that is removing freedom from a part of society, what they can do is state that they are personally against said act but the individual is free to chose for himself.

In this way the politician holds to his beliefs but allows society also to hold to its freedom as well. That is certainly not what happens... unfortunately.

Edited by Jor-el, 23 May 2014 - 06:04 PM.

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#14    ambelamba

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:34 PM

At this point, not a single damn church denomination is free from the doctrines established by RCC.

Christianity could have been a very different religion or a group of different religions if history was steered in a different way. It could have been a more humanistic, humanitarian religion that is truly a simply offshoot of Judaism. Or, it could have been just another sect of Judaism and survived somehow.


#15    Bluefinger

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:38 PM

View Postambelamba, on 23 May 2014 - 07:34 PM, said:

At this point, not a single damn church denomination is free from the doctrines established by RCC.

Christianity could have been a very different religion or a group of different religions if history was steered in a different way. It could have been a more humanistic, humanitarian religion that is truly a simply offshoot of Judaism. Or, it could have been just another sect of Judaism and survived somehow.

Agreed.

It is not enough to have a good mind.  The main thing is to use it well.     - Descartes




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