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StarMountainKid

What Is Correct Christian Faith?

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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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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.

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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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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!
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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Posted (edited)

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
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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.

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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.

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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.

Question here, how old is the RCC?

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Older than others except for the Orthodox Church...?

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I don't see where being the oldest or having teachings that are old means much. Indeed that is a strange frame of mind, and one sees it in Buddhism too where the Theravada sometimes imply validity because they use scripture older than that of the Mahayana. (For the record, I'm Theravada, but for other reasons, and I think both groups are generally valid Buddhism).

Sometimes one sees Christian groups that claim they have gone back to "Jesus' original, primitive, Christianity." Why would that mean anything? Would not God be able to continue providing guidance and change as times require?

Another thing that I don't understand is the tendency of some Christians (and Muslims do this a lot with the Q'uran) of providing "proof texts" from scripture, kinda like little old ladies are always using the dictionary to prove they are right, to argue about points of teaching. Well maybe whatever the text says has since been repealed, or maybe mistranslated or misread or taken out of context, and besides proving points of teaching is not what scripture is for anyway and I challenge anyone to show me otherwise. If someone tells me Paul said this and that, well then maybe that was Paul's view, and he was we think a wise person (I think sometimes he was nuts) and his view should be considered, but that is all.

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Question here, how old is the RCC?

depends what you mean. They say that it goes right back to St Peter, don't they, so they were there first.

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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.

You do have a point. Even though the Protestant churches make such a fuss about the idolatry of Rome and all the rest of it, they still follow he same basic principles about Sin and Salvation and what they insist Jesus died for and all the rest of it, don't they. They have such a monopoly that any sect that did try to challenge those basic dogmas is marginalised as a lunatic sect, and in the past of course the Church wouldn't have hesitated to use all its power to stamp them out, like any dictator would to any dissenters or dissidents.

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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?

It depends on what time period you thought was "true Christianity."

Paul, for example, and the original Apostles followed the Jewish faith of that time and performed acts such as sacrificing animals at certain times of the year (they write about it in the Bible.) To follow that faith, look at the Judaism of 2,000 years ago.

Early Christian Fathers, after they agreed on what went in the Bible? Look at the earliest Catholic Church. There was no Trinity, for example, and God was distinct from Jesus (the blend of God-Jesus comes actually fairly late.) All unbaptized (including infants) went to hell. People were excommunicated for believing different things.

The faith during the Crusades? There you find a more militant version of the faith, where heretics were slaughtered and a religious "high court" that used various signs to determine innocence or guilt. Torture during the Middle Ages was the only accepted way of obtaining evidence in a legal court, and anyone who was not a noble was disenfranchised. Kings had the "divine right of rule" -- their word was the word of God.

If you want to look to the roots, look at the oldest Catholic services -- they were desinged to bring the faith to the illiterate and made use of a number of sophisticated verbal and artistic techniques, including standardizing portraits of "jesus" and how saints are presented.

The intellectual side of faith? Look to the great thinkers in the church before the 1800's.

So... what, exactly, do YOU mean?

I think you would not enjoy life under Medieval Christianity. Some people do like the idea of monastaries, and I applaud them for it and appreicate the priests and nuns who choose that life.

Not my cup of cookies, though.

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Thank goodness for the Deist Founding Fathers.

This way we do not have to find out what it's like.

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Posted (edited)

Older than others except for the Orthodox Church...?

depends what you mean. They say that it goes right back to St Peter, don't they, so they were there first.

The original RCC as a formal entity begins about 300 AD: http://en.wikipedia...._Church#History

What they say is unfortunately not the fact. as Kenemet points out. The RCC are merely the victors of an internecine war fought within the Christian community. But they are not "THE CHURCH", even though they may add "Katholikos" to their name.

Edited by Jor-el
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Posted (edited)

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?

There is no such thing as a true Christian faith, anymore than there is one true way for a person to live their life. And Christianity is not the only road to god either One can go by the words of the bible (by their fruits shall ye know them) ie we judge the rightness of something by the products of it. If something brings you and your society; health, physical well being, peace, joy etc and frees you from fear, anger, hate, lust greed and envy and other destructive emotions then it is good. If a belief helps you makes sense of the world around you, and offers you real benefits and comforts without doing harm, then it is good. Christianity is neither liberal nor conservative. It is applied/interpreted by people of either ilk in different ways. Both conservative and liberal people are attracted to Christianity because it appeals to them for different reasons. If you want to be a Christian all you have to do is read and study the bible especially the gospels of Christ and then follow god in your heart mind and body, as you understand the bible to ask you to do. You never have to enter or belong to a Christian church, follow any of their beliefs or rituals, or require the intervention of another person, priest, or pastor, between you and god. God lives within and about every person. All you have to do is open up to his existence and welcome him into your heart, mind and body..

Edited by Mr Walker
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