None of the verses you used are in direct conflict with the position I have taken regarding the commands of Jesus. And the verses you took from Luke and John speak of the judgment of the world upon Christ's return and mankind that is under the wrath of God for it's rebellion and rejection of Christ and his sacrifice and grace.
Indeed, and this shows that violent hatred that God has for His Creation.
We know that Joseph Kony is not acting in love or in the example of Christ, so we can easily disqualify Joseph Kony from being a follower of Christ.
You cannot know the Mind of God - That is standard Christian doctrine. The Old Testament is filled with Holy men who acted as Mr Kony - I suggest a reading of Numbers.
We see no example of Christ or the apostles advocating the evil that Mr. Kony perpetrates.
It seems to me that you dislike the idea of the Trinity. It appears that you reject the idea that, contrary to the Bible's words, you do not accept that Jesus was present before the World began and therefore had His part in the genocides in the Old Testament.
I am pointing this out to show you that you are not a real Christian but someone who picks and chooses his verses and beliefs from the array that is in the Bible. Yet the Bible says it is entirely True and the Word of God.
We don't share the same mindset in a general sense, other than we both claim to follow God (so does the Muslim). I *believe* I know what God wants in as much as I try to follow the leadership of Jesus.
Does Joseph Kony not believe that also? Why are you right and he wrong?
I do not believe Joseph Kony cares anything about Jesus whatsoever. He is wrong because he does not model Christ or follow the basic command to love his neighbor. It's a pretty simple disqualification in this case.[/quote]
As I have shown above, it is far from simple - it is impossible. You and he both believe
that you are guided by God.
In my experience, I have found the Holy Spirit to be real.
The operative verb is "found" - you have no proof other than a "feeling" and that does not cut the mustard.
But you're right in this respect, those who are not Christian or who have never heard of Jesus can be influenced by the work of the Holy Spirit testifying to Jesus Christ.
I never said that, and would not, mainly because it assumes that The Trinity exists but also because a devout Hindu would laugh at it and say you were guided by Vishnu or Hannuman. And Animist would say that the spirit of the leopard is guiding you, and you know as well as I do that they are as right and as wrong as you are.
Please - in the future do not credit me with things I never said.
but Paul also tells us to "test" all things through the Bible, through the council of others, through prayer, and through the Holy Spirit that we would not be deceived by a wicked heart and our own evil.
The Bible is open to everyone's interpretation, therefore cannot offer objective guidance. We know people interpret it in different way because there are so many Christian sects.
We know that asking others is no use as we must not put our trust in Man but in God.
This leaves the Holy Spirit... but this Holy Spirit seems to tell everyone differnet things! So that does not work either.
However, if you make your own judgement, then that's fine - that's what most people do.
Everything I *think* I hear from God must pass through the person of Jesus Christ and his testimony and instructions. If I believe the Holy Spirit has spoken something directly to me (through thought, prayer, etc.), it must line up with scripture, or it must be rejected.
Whose interpretation will show that it is not in line with Scripture - I have quoted scripture to you, yet you wriggle out of it and say I am doing it wrongly. I say you are doing it wrongly - where is that guidance?
If it conflicts with His teaching, I must reject it,
So basically you are for killing homosexuals by stoning them?
Actually, we love his enemies, until the day of judgment upon his return. There is no contradiction, the instruction remains the same.
That is a contradiction right there! You love your enemies but His enemies will be destroyed utterly. You do not get annoyed with your enemies, He kills His.
You have interested me, please supply the Scripture to support your contention that Jesus and/or Paul say we should love the enemies of God.
I have quoted you from various Bible books that God's enemies should be slain and no mercy shown.
A survey was done in Canada by the Canadian institute of psychiatry. They asked believers what they believed about various social issues, and then asked them what they thought God believed about the same issues – strangely all believers thought that God agreed with them, although there were many different answers.This isn't strange at all, I would expect this, wouldn't you? In our desire to be like God, we often get confused and make Him out to be like us.
I must credit you with the most inventive answer that I have so far heard. Of course, the essence of all religious faith of all sorts cannot rely upon man's opinion, yet there is not one religious person who does not create a God in his own image. Your beliefs are unique to you - everyone's belief is unique to them. Now, if we remove religion, beliefs will still differ, this demonstrates that religion does not affect personal beliefs.
You must always bear in mind this quote:
“If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.”
? Penn Jillette
And this is how it works. We know this because there are something like 3000 "gods" worshipped on the planet today and not one has any more legitimacy than any other.
There is always possibility [that I am wrong]. But, I have confidence this is not the case. I often rely on 1 John and other scripture that assures of our salvation. I have faith that Jesus Christ both loves and keeps those who abide in Him. So, I do not live in fear, much like you do not in your own confidence, as long as I hold steadfast to faith and my life continues to be marked by loving Christ and obeying his commands (one of which is loving others).
I'll be frank. That attitude frightens me. It is what has landed your brother in prison. It is what has caused wars. It is what we see in your fellow Christian Joseph Kony and why Muslims are bombing Christians in Pakistan.
You have freedom of choice to accept of reject Christ. The fact that all mankind is under judgment from sin remains. No one is forced to serve Him now, but when He returns to reign, those who have rejected his lordship and grace will be under God's judgment.
According to you we are. According to me, we live our lives and die. There is no judgement and there is no afterlife. You are assuming there is a God and that god happens to be the one you believe in.
We have already agreed that every religious person has his own (flawed) view of God. We already know that 3000 gods are worshipped on earth. ("In our desire to be like God, we often get confused and make Him out to be like us.")
Do you not feel some shame of arrogance to say that only you are correct? Other than a feeling, what evidence can you produce for those remarkable statements?
You do not say, "In my opinion," or "It is a possibility..." or "If you believe everything in the Bible..." You state all this as fact.
But we are Commanded to kill gays, witches, unbelievers, murderers, adulterers. Christ is not a mediator, if you believe in the Trinity (and you should not, the passage in the Bible is a forgery) then there is but one God who requires no mediator.
That would not be Christianity because Christ is the mediator, sent by God, according to all of scripture. That is the whole point of the cross. That is one of the most basic, fundamental tenets of Christianity. God so loved the world that He gave His only son...you know the rest.
That is Christianity. It is laid out in the Bible. It is clear. You see, you don't like those ideas, so you decide to ignore them. You also ignore the Biblical fact that Jesus was there when the World began and took His part in all those commandments and orders.
Christ did not come to condemn the world, but that the world would be saved through him.
The reality is somewhat different.
Those who believe the Scriptures are compelled to say that this Devil was created by God, and that God knew when he created him just what he would do -- the exact measure of his success; knew that he would be a successful rival; knew that he would deceive and corrupt the children of men; knew that, by reason of this Devil, countless millions of human beings would suffer eternal torment in the prison of pain. And this God also knew when he created the Devil, that he, God, would be compelled to leave his throne, to be born a babe in Palestine, and to suffer a cruel death. All this he knew when he created the Devil. Why did he create him?
Does any of that seem likely?
Does it seem likely that you would sacrifice your son to save everyone from Hell? Can you not think of an easier way of saving people from Hell? I can.
And what sort of a sacrifice is it where the sacrifice gets to live 3 days later? How do you kill a god?
And who said that "Christ did not come to condemn the world, but that the world would be saved through him."? And what proof did they offer? Words are cheap aren't they?
In isolation, I am more prone to doing just this, reading it [the bible] from my own perspective.
This is what I said earlier. You read pieces and you make them fit your view of the world.
Which is why I live out my faith in community with other believers, every single day.
What does that mean? Are you a monk?
You: Re-read Genesis 18:20
I have done. You must have misunderstood Genesis 18:20. If you recall, all of Sodom and Gomorrah is destroyed because of the wickedness of all
of the inhabitants. If there had been an "outcry" then the people crying out (to the Lord) would have been people who objected to the wickedness, in which case, they were good, yet the Lord killed them. However,
32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
They weren't found so where were these objectors?
There could be an explanation, but I don't know of one.
Ah yes, that is the part where Jesus does NOT “love his enemies.”
That is correct, it will be judgment for those who remain enemies of Christ.
So we love our enemies, Jesus kills his...If you are in agreement, we will leave all the above and concentrate on the following.
I believe my claims for Christianity to be accurate, you do not because you disagree. That is to be expected. However, we started this conversation under the question of why Christianity has gained so much acceptance in the West. Islam, at it's heart, is an oppressive religion, with little freedom. Much attention is given to a God that is rarely involved personally in the lives of its followers. They spend much of their time living in fear, and by a strict set of laws, which often govern the societies surrounding it. This is not a pattern that is likely to adopted in a Western society based in the concept of personal freedom and a democratic society.
You are again ignoring the fact that Western Christianity passed through the same stages. Back then Christianity had all the faults you attribute to Islam. Your claims are not functions of Christianity, but functions of a degree of civilisation.
Christianity has nothing to do with democracy - there is no democracy in the Bible: it requires total allegiance to an unelected god. There is only one sentence - Death. God has a Plan, so Prayer is asking Him to change all that just for you - so God never listens. He isn't going to change the future of the universe for you.
To the contrary, Christianity has been accepted largely because it promotes a concept of freedom from "law" based in love. Paul gives the believer immense freedom provided he does not violate God's morality, and that he loves his neighbor, and thus the law is written on his heart.
I would be obliged if you did not make unsubstantiated claims like "Paul gives the believer immense freedom" Paul does no such thing - Paul claims without evidence to give
the believer immense freedom" is correct.
The concept of "grace" is completely foreign to the Muslim,
It is foreign to me too, and I would bet that no two Christians agree on what it is.
There is not concept in Islam like there is in Christianity of a substitutional sacrifice or atonement.
So what? To me all that is meaningless. The concept of Human Sacrifice in the Bible is most interesting. It occurs several times and is always seen as immensely shocking to the Jews. That is why the myth of Jesus ends up with an alleged "sacrifice." (Even if the sacrifice was temporary, lasting for three days (as long as you ignore Mark that does not mention the resurrection and is probably the most reliable Gospel.)
So, Christians live in great freedom (sometimes too much perhaps?) because of this concept of grace.
No they don't, regardless of your religion, in the West you live in "great freedom" You have added this nebulous concept to something that does not require anything added.
Christianity is all about relationship, Islam is all about fear.
This is ludicrous bias. How on earth do you explain the corrupt, yet Christian democracies in Africa? You will give the apologists' answer "Because they don't follow God's Law" I will tell you the truth - it is because their civilisations are behind ours and 700 years go, all Christian Europe was just like that.
Me: Religion is fine as long as it does not claim to be anything other than a philosophy that individuals can interpret as they want – just like you and every other Christian does. The only thing that is excessive is that to do this, you don’t need a god. Like you, people can “just be reasonable.”
I don't think you fully believe that, right?
Wrong. Very wrong. In fact, completely wrong.
Because, you don't want people interpreting the way they want if it is detrimental to others.
What on earth are you saying? Did you see the part where I wrote, "you don’t need a god. Like you, people can just be reasonable.”
There is no need for a god in this world. We can explain a universe without gods and we can live our lives without gods and the world is a better place without an unelected priestly class whose job it is to scare people into goodness.