Despite what you may think, this is not a Monty Python Style argument clinic. We strive to exchange meaningful ideas and seek developed paths of thought.
I hoped that this forum would be a place to exchange meaningful ideas, but what I have run into is the proverbial Monty Python Style arguement clinic.
Please try to exchange ideas and not just comments to muddy up flows of conversation.
Have you noticed the the flows of conversation which I have had to defend against? I am new here and I am simply following the lead of the regulars. I think you should spread your criticism a little more evenly:-)
Additional care with your quoting would be most appreciated as well.
Not sure what you mean by that, but I will comment on whatever quotes I include.
Now that all of that has been said. Can you give us a clear summery of your position on the topic?
Scripture was written in flowing narrative, not verses, so it is my contention that scripture is more likely to be properly understood if we appeal to the narrative rather than the verses.
The "church at large" agrees on one thing; "the Nicean Creed", and feels free to disagree on everything else. Since the Nicean Creed was established by democratic vote among representatives of all the churches in the Roman Empire, it is undoubtably pagan, and Constantine legislated that the Nicean Creed was to be preached in every church.
What we have today is a church which still dutifully agrees with the Nicean Creed, and still feels free to disagree on everything else.
The only thing which unites Christians today, is a set of pagan doctrines which were forced on all the churches of the Roman Empire after the first ecumenical council at Nicea in 325AD.
Beginning with Abraham, "the faith", known as the faith of Abraham, is that a great nation of Abraham's seed will inherit all the land between the Euphrates and the river of Egypt for an everlasting possession, and will bless all the families of all nations.
Now since the earth lost peace and good will when man began to falsely judge good and evil, and since a NT prophecy says that the Christ will be given the kingdom of his father David, and will bring peace on earth, good will toward men, I concluded that peace on earth, good will toward men, brought about by David's kingdom, is close enough to a great nation blessing all the families of all nations, to consider it as evidence of story continuity.
Back to Abraham: Abraham believed God's promise, and righteousness was counted unto him for his faith(he was justified by his faith). Now since God's promise was that a great nation would bless all nations, not that God would bless all nations, Abraham began to watch, wait, and prepare for the coming great nation, and the annointed one who will establish and lead it. Anything Abraham did in preparation for the coming great nation, was justified by his faith in the outcome. If he had to do something which was evil to prepare for the coming great nation, he counted himself righteous because of his faith in the outcome. Because Abraham had faith in the end which God saw from the beginning, his faith in the end, justified the means. This is probably where the Catholic idea of indulgences came from.
It should be noted here, that it is commonly known that the very religious everywhere, have always given, and always give, God the credit for everything which happens in their lives. It is a common form of worship, and it is even endorsed in scripture. So even though God's promise to Abraham is that a great nation will bless all nations, religious writers after the fact, worshipped God by writing Him into the record as the author of every event.
When the mixed national assembly known as the Children of Israel was chosen by Moses, to become the great nation of God's promise, Moses gave the national assembly 10 rules of national unity, which would lead it to great everlasting nationhood.
The Children of Israel virtually wiped out the Canaanites to conquer the land defined in God's promise, and it justified this evil action by their faith in the outcome. Scripture writers made sure to complete that justification by adding that God told the Children of Israel to do it.
The geographically defined nation of Israel became a kingdom, and during the reign of Solomon, it became divided against it'self, having obviously broken the 10 rules of national unity, and Israel fell into non-existence without having achieved everlasting possession of the land, and obviously without repenting of breaking the 10.
Now since God saw the end from the beginning, then His promised ending is everlasting and unconditional. Prophets began to warn the former Israelites in the two warring enemy kingdoms which resulted from Israel's fall, that Israel is going to be resurrected, and that the former Israelites should repent and resurrect Israel.
The small remnant of those who still remained faithful to God's promise, looked forward to the coming resurrection of the kingdom of Israel, so they were "spiritual Israel", or "the spiritual kingdom", looking forward to the literal kingdom of Israel.
When the Babylonian captivity ended, the faithful remnant among the Judahites, resettled in Persian ruled Judea, and were made to feel so "at home" that they lost interest in resurrecting the kingdom, and became focused on the ritual practice of old redundant Israelite laws and traditions. They had become the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Jesus, a zealous member of the faithful remnant, came preaching the same good news which God had revealed to Abraham. However, since Israel had become a kingdom before it fell, God's promise was now defined as the good news of the coming kingdom, rather than the good news of the coming great nation.
Since the borders of the great nation/kingdom were specifically defined in God's promise, and that specific land was part of the Roman Empire, Jesus' message represented a threat to the national security of the Roman Empire. Jesus was executed for sedition, before he could do anthing which might cause Rome to retaliate by killing all the Jews. "Jesus died to save the Jews" from death at the hands of the Romans.
The apostles carried on preaching the good news of the coming kingdom and were all killed by Rome. The church was driven underground around 70AD, and was never heard from again, that we know of.
The anti-Nicean fathers were pagans, but since they defined the church, the church does not realize it. 250 years after the church went underground and disappeared, Emperor Constantine decided to unify all the religious organizations of the Roman Empire under one universal god, so he summoned representatives of all the churches of the empire to Nicea, and told them to bring all their sacred writings(refered to as testimonies) with them. They were ordered to discuss all their various doctrines and by democratic vote, establish one universal set of doctrines which all could live with.
The council lasted for either almost 2 years by one account, to more than 4 years by another account. In the end, the vote agreed with Constantine's initial proposal, and the Nicean Creed was established. The names of the Celtic god Hesus, and the eastern god Krishna, were blended to name the new universal god.
Constantine ordered Eusebius to read all the testimonies of the gods, which had been brought to the council, and write "The New Testimonies", blending everything which is good in the testemonies, and throwing out everything which is evil in the testemonies. 50 copies of Eusebius' "New Testimonies" were made and distributed to all corners of the empire, with the order that the new creed be preached in all churches.
All the old testimonies, and records of the council, were burned, and Constantine ordered that anyone found with a copy of any of the old testimonies was to be beheaded.
The rest is church history.
I would be happy to enlarge on any particular part of my synopsis:-)